Prison Policies Surrounding Incarcerated Women in US Prisons

848 Words3 Pages
Prison Policies towards Mothers Introduction Even though mothers in prison represent only 8.1% of all incarcerated parents, the actual numbers are shocking at 65,600 by 2007 mid-year (Glaze and Maruschak, 2010). This number has doubled (122%) during the previous 16 years and the number of children affected have increased by 131% to 147,400. In addition, the rate of increase in incarcerated mothers was twice that of incarcerated fathers during the same period. Race is also a significant factor, with children of African American and Hispanic parents being 8.9 and 3 times, respectively, more likely to have an incarcerated parent than White children (The Sentencing Project, 2007). This essay will examine prison policies surrounding incarcerated women in U.S. prisons, including those in the state of Mississippi. Prison Policies towards Incarcerated Mothers and Pregnant Women With nearly 2/3 of the female prison population at the state level having dependent children (The Sentencing Project, 2007), it seems reasonable that prison and social policymakers would be forced to recognize the special needs of this demographic. However, this is not the case. When state child welfare agencies were canvassed about special programs for these children, only 16% responded in the affirmative. Close to 10% of incarcerated women have children living in foster care and the vast majority of parents are being held at locations more than 100 miles away. The distance is over 500 miles for 43% of
Open Document