Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020, Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer goes into prison over night and speaks with several women about their experience in prison, as well as why they are there. “Most of the women are mothers. 1 in 25 is pregnant when she goes in. Women are the fastest growing group of prisoners in the U.S. compared to men. 63% are jailed for non-violent crimes. 11.1% are in for murder.” [Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020] Most of the women to whom Sawyer speaks openly discuss how their children have been left behind.

“Female prison population is 49% white, 22% black and 17% Hispanic. White women are the fastest growing prison population, some experts say due to tougher drug laws for prescription pills and meth.” [Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020] However, it is critical to note that African-American women have been the fastest growing prison population for the last two to three decades due, in part, to tough sentencing drug laws for “drug mules” and sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine. “Despite [similar drug use rates reported by The National Institute on Drug Abuse for women in the 80s and 90s] and the steep rise in the number of women convicted of drug offenses, women of color are generally incarcerated at disproportionately higher rates than their white counterparts – African American women’s incarceration rates for all offenses – many of which are for drug-related offenses – has increased by 800% since 1986, compared to an increase of 400% for women of all races.” [Caught on the Net: The Impact of Drug Policies on Women and Families, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Brennan Center at NYU School of Law and Break the Chains: Communities of Color and the War on Drugs]. http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/caught-net-impact-drug-policies-women-families.

Whether men or women are ensnared in the criminal justice system at higher rates, or whether white women or black women are populating U.S. prisons cells at a faster rate, what is clear is that children living in the U.S. – white, African American and Latino – are experiencing parental incarceration at a higher rate than any other children in the world.  This ABC News Special 2020 provides an important look into the prison system and how it impacts women and their families. Here is the link to Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020:  http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/nation-women-bars-diane-sawyer-numbers-29243655

 

Patricia Allard

Comments

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><span>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Each email address will be obfuscated in a human readable fashion or (if JavaScript is enabled) replaced with a spamproof clickable link.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
3 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Monthly Feature

Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People's Movement Western Regional Conference

Convened by All of Us or None & Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Sunday, September 20th & Monday, September 21st

Formerly incarcerated and convicted people, family members, community and spiritual leaders, elected officials and government employees will all come together to strengthen our relationships and work towards making change through community empowerment. We invite you to Voice your opinion, learn your rights and learn what changes we can make together. All of Us or None Contact: (415)-255-7036 ext. 337 www.prisonerswithchildren.org

FREE REGISTRATION: eventbrite.com