Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Report Shows Gender Gap in Reducing Prison Populations

Play

Thursday, January 11, 2018   

NEW YORK – Prison populations are dropping in most states, but a new study finds that the number of incarcerated women is not falling as fast as it is for men.

Nationally, the total prison population peaked around 2009.

The study, compiled by the Prison Policy Initiative, shows that most states have made progress in reducing their overall prison populations over the past 10 years, but incarceration rates for women have generally stayed about the same.

According to Wendy Sawyer, the report’s author, one reason may be that women in prison may receive harsher punishments for rule violations than men do for similar infractions, extending their sentences.

"When three quarters have mental health problems and three quarters of those also have substance use disorders, and two-thirds of them have a history of physical or sexual abuse, you're talking about a population that really needs a lot of treatment and a lot of services more than they need punishment," she stresses.

In New York, incarceration rates are falling for both men and women, but they are falling faster for men.

Women are a relatively small percentage of the prison population, but since 1978 their numbers have increased at twice the rate of men.

And Sawyer says the impact of incarceration can be much more severe on women inmates.

"Women in state prison are more likely to be primary caretakers of children,” she points out. “They already are starting out with more economic difficulties so it may have an even greater effect of marginalization on those women and their families."

The report recommends steps such as increasing use of diversion strategies, decriminalizing offenses that don't threaten public safety and increasing the funding for indigent defense as ways to further reduce incarceration.

And Sawyer points out that ignoring what is happening in women's prisons works against a state's efforts to decarcerate.

"If they're seeing success overall, that may actually be happening just among the men's population,” she states. “Meanwhile the women's population continues to grow, just unnoticed."

Sawyer adds that developing alternatives to incarceration that are less harmful to women should be an urgent priority in every state.






get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021