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March 17, 2005

New (depressing) report on women and increased incarceration

Yesterday I reported in this post on a new (depressing) report on race and increased incarceration from the Justice Policy Institute.  Today, the ACLU brings us a new (depressing) report on women and increased incarceration entitled "Caught in the Net: the Impact of Drug Policies on Women & Families."  Grits for Breakfast has terrific coverage of the ACLU report here, and this press release provides more background on the report and the issues it covers.

The full report can be access at this link, and here are some passages from the report's Executive Summary:

Federal and state drug laws and policies over the past twenty years have had specific, devastating, and disparate effects on women, and particularly women of color and low income women. These effects require further study and careful consideration as state and federal decision-makers evaluate existing and prospective drug laws and policies.

Reliance on the criminal justice system to reduce use, abuse, and sale of illegal drugs has had little effect on the supply and demand of these drugs in the United States. It has, however, led to sky-rocketing rates of incarceration of women.

Nationally, there are now more than eight times as many women incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails as there were in 1980, increasing in number from 12,300 in 1980 to 182,271 by 2002....

The underlying circumstances contributing to the dramatic increase in women's incarceration for drug offenses, including patterns of women's drug use, barriers to seeking and obtaining treatment, lack of effective and appropriate treatment for women, the nature of women's involvement in the drug trade, and patterns of prosecution and sentencing of women for drug offenses, have yet to be thoroughly examined and addressed by researchers or policy makers. Available research in these areas indicates a strong connection between women's experiences of violence and economic and social pressures, and their drug use or involvement in the drug trade.

March 17, 2005 at 04:49 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Depressing?

I thought that, as in education, employment, and other parts of our national life, female participation in an activity that is equivalent to their proportion in the population is a good thing -- and a stated national, public purpose. Why should incarceration rates be any different?

"You've come a long way, baby."

Posted by: Mark | Mar 21, 2005 10:00:05 AM

i believe people are just trying to help now because prison is just getting to crowded because if you really care you would have helped women from the very begining from since the men beat the wife and the wife(women) have no more hope but do drugs or some other uncalled for action.

Posted by: nataly | Jun 5, 2007 6:15:45 PM

i believe people are just trying to help now because prison is just getting to crowded because if you really care you would have helped women from the very begining from since the men beat the wife and the wife(women) have no more hope but do drugs or some other uncalled for action.

Posted by: nataly | Jun 5, 2007 6:15:51 PM

i believe people are just trying to help now because prison is just getting to crowded because if you really care you would have helped women from the very begining from since the men beat the wife and the wife(women) have no more hope but do drugs or some other uncalled for action.

Posted by: nataly | Jun 5, 2007 6:15:58 PM

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