African American Women In Prison

Decent Essays
When individuals are sent to prison, many are forgotten, disregarded, and deemed worthy of being there. The high-stress environment is simply unlivable for many Americans and the exploitation of the prison system is used to steer many in the right direction. However, the mental health of these prisoners, especially female prisoners, is more ignored than ever. Research findings reveal the need for advocating and help to these women. The rate of men going to prison is increasing by 2.7%, however, the rate for women going to prison is increasing by 4.8% showing a greater disparity (Hatton and Fisher, 1304). Within that population, African American women are seven times more likely to spend time behind bars (Hatton and Fisher, 1305) with 3.8…show more content…
With the authors of this journal being registered nurses and having seen the first-hand accounts of these disparities, how these cries continued to be ignored. With these female inmates coming from low-income backgrounds, being often undereducated, and having few work skills (Hatton and Fisher, 1305), many of the stresses of life added on to the societal expectations of women can easily manifest into a valid psychological defect that can hinder them for the rest of their lives. Reports also show extensive histories of “childhood and adult violence, including both physical and sexual assault” (Hatton and Fisher, 1305), adding to the stressors, and causing an even worse decline in mental health. Yet, the lack of awareness and/or contributions to a fixable solution is as prevalent as mental illness amongst these imprisoned women. The goal of these institutions should be rehabilitation of these individuals, giving them a second chance, though it has fallen from its original purpose and now has become about control and power.

Like many issues in America, the conversation is yet to be had about the mental health of women in prisons/jails. As stated by Hatton and Fisher, identifying these pathways, creating programs, and aligning this issue with political parties and major organizations (1306), this issue can finally be on the road to recovery, helping to break the cycle of reentry into prisons/jails and bettering the lives of individuals as well as their
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