Institutionalization Of Women In Prison Essay

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Prison is no picnic for anybody. Regardless of age, race, country of origin, or sexuality life behind bars is, for lack of a better word, hard. That being said, the number of women in prisons across America has been rising at a staggering rate since the commencement of the war on drugs .

There are 1,461,625 women in state and federal prisons, and women account for 6.7% of all incarcerated people in America. Of that percentage, an overwhelming are minorities, and an even greater number of those women are poor. In short, there are a whole lot of women in jail that find themselves there by their own circumstances.

Now, for a bit of history. In 1873, America's first maximum-security women's prison opened (and firmly shut) its doors. …show more content…

There were two types: custodial institutions (what the average person thinks of when they hear prison) and reformatories. These reformatories were designed to rehabilitate women who found themselves on the fringe of society. They were placed in these facilities for crimes such as “lewd and lascivious conduct, fornication, serial premarital pregnancies, adultery [and] venereal disease”. Unladylike …show more content…

Female inmates have historically been subjected to groping, rape, and sexual extortion/humiliation. This treatment has gone on the way it has because there is a lack of preventative legislation in place. These guards see targets-- degenerates, society's refuse in these female prisoners. They have no voice, no power, no agency with which to arm themselves. In prison, they are no longer people, but cattle held in the custody of the state. No one, it would seem, has any place telling these men how to treat their herd. These people in positions of authority have free rein to treat the women however they want because no one is looking out for

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