As of 2013 205,400 women are incarcerated with one million under supervision of the criminal justice system. (International Centre for Prison Studies; Sentencing Project) Interestingly enough women are more likely to be arrested on drug and property offenses and less likely for violent offenses. Forbes would publish a mapping chart of incarcerated women around the world claiming that the United States is number one; and also responsible for imprisoning one-third of all women prisoners worldwide.
Normally one hears about male incarceration rates, like one in six African American men are in prison in 2001; also that one million of the 2.3 million locked up are black or hispanic; blacks and hispanics make up one fourth of the country 's population but represent fifty eight percent of those locked up behind bars. (NAACP, Sentencing Project) With that being said the United States incarcerates more women at a rate of 1.5 times that of men. (Sentencing Project) The next question to arise is why are so many women locked up and what for? According to the Sentencing Project we can thank the War on Drugs as a major contributor. The War on drugs was introduced during the Nixon administration as an effort to eliminate drug use in the country. In the 60’s drug use would become acceptable amongst the younger adult generation as a form of rebellion against the government. However as time would persist drugs would make its way into American ghettos, with drugs affecting those of minority status. During the crack epidemic black females would be the target of drug laws and convictions. However as methamphetamine would rise in popularity in the United States, so would the convictions of white w...
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...ords; however, that number would drop to 30% when it came to women with the exact same record. Clearly if we as a society want people to succeed and remain outside of the criminal justice system there must be some changes. The country must relook at their sentencing policies for drug related and non-violent offenders. Does the punishment fit the crime. Another option would be to conceal or expunge records on a case by case basis, so that when the individual seeks employment and a background check is ran it will not show up and hinder their hiring process. These are necessary discussions that lawmakers must have in order to ensure a brighter future; with prison populations on the rise and expense of housing these individuals wouldn 't it make more sense to equip them with the necessary tools to ensure they are contributing members of society rather than leeches.
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