No country incarcerates more women than the United States. Although American women comprise just five percent of the total global female population, we represent nearly a third of the world’s female prisoners. In addition, the number of girls in youth facilities continues to rise even as male populations shrink, and increasing numbers of girls and women with children enter the civil immigration detention system. However, due to the size and scope of the male prison population in the age of mass incarceration, the unique challenges these women and girls face when they become involved in justice systems are often overlooked. Through the Gender & Justice in America blog series, Vera will explore issues facing justice-involved women and girls in the fields of adult corrections, youth justice, immigration, victimization, substance use, and mental health.
Americans are currently in a self-reflective mood: Primary voting turnout for the 2016 Presidential election has so far been extremely robust, with no hint of slowing down—a sure sign people are invested in who we are and where we are going as a country. Related to this political interest...
It’s no coincidence that the number of Americans with college diplomas is the same as those with criminal records—the relationship between a lack of education and criminal justice involvement, especially for girls and women, is bi-directional, complex, and problematic.
Since the early 90s, research has shown that girls in the juvenile justice system are more likely than their male peers to be detained for status offenses and minor delinquent behavior. The findings of a recent study provides strong evidence that, despite dramatic reform over the last 15 years, the tendency to lock girls up for less serious offenses, such as running away from home, has not budged.
A new report from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Research Action Design lays bare the significant impact that mass male incarceration has on women who remain in the community—a critically important and often overlooked aspect of our current offender-funded justice system.
In Germany, it is the norm that incarcerated mothers have the option to serve time with their young children. In the U.S., the vast majority of children born to incarcerated women are separated from their mothers almost immediately after birth.