Women, Prison, and Sexual Assault Essay

897 Words 4 Pages
Assessing the consequences of our country’s soaring imprison rates has less to do with the question of guilt versus innocence than it does with the question of who among us truly deserves to go to prison and face the restrictive and sometimes brutally repressive conditions found there. We are adding more than one thousand prisoners to our prison and jail systems every single week. The number of women in prisons and jails has reached a sad new milestone. As women become entangled with the war on drugs, the number in prison has increased if not double the rate of incarceration for men. The impact of their incarceration devastates thousands of children, who lose their primary caregiver when Mom goes to prison. Statistics are …show more content…
In order to design criminal justice that matches the specific needs and strengths of women, one should consider the history and demographics of the female criminal and the patterns that are reflecting the life factors and offending. The vast majority of female offenders are drug related or property crimes. The impact of a mother’s arrest is more disruptive on the family. According to the California Research Bureau “two thirds of incarcerated mothers were the primary caregivers for at least one child before they were arrested” (Simmons, 2000, p. 6) With significant impact on the family unit it is difficult not to mention the effect of mothers being incarcerated is creating more psychological problems among children. Parental arrest creates shame, fear, guilt, trauma, and anxiety, which in turn adds to the decline of behavior manifestations in children. When children withdraw, or have low self-esteem their school performance declines, truancy increase, and the alcohol and drug usage leads to aggressive actions which creates cycle of incarcerations. More than half of those incarcerated receive visits from their children. I believe that if these women are in detention for behaviors that do not impair others then we should have one facility per state that incorporates a campus like environment for prolonged sojourns for children. It is by no accident that children suffer at the hands of the system. For each time a child…