Women in Prison


Writing Assignment One
Dianaimee Castro
Kaplan College – Chula Vista

Mr. DeMatteo
CJ 242 Critical Issues un Corrections
July 28, 2015

Women in prison represent between 6 and 11 percent of the total number of prisoners, with the higher percentage found in jail. Between 75 and 80 percent of women in prison are mothers. America’s female prison population is growing. In the last ten years the number of women in prison has nearly doubled (Philo, 2011). As these women serve their time, they are not the only ones who suffer. Innocent victims are suffering for the crimes of others and they are the children of mothers who are in jail. According to Department of Justice study, some 1.5 million minors had a parent in prison during the study year 1999- an increase of over a half million kids between 1991 and 1999 (Handwerk, 2004). The average age of these children is eight.
Most children, especially young children are in the primary care of their mother. Mothers in state prison report that their children are in the care of the father in just 25% of cases, while the rest go to a grandmother (51%), another relative (20%), a family friend (4%), or a foster home or agency (11%) (US Department of Justice, 1993). Relative or a caregiver can provide the familiar continuity, the safe, and the stable environment that the children need. Sometimes substitute caregivers improve children’s lives.
Prison is not a good place for pregnant women. That does not mean that pregnancy provides immunity against wrongdoing and incarceration, but it does mean that there should be a strong public policy interest in promoting healthy pregnancies and good birth outcomes for incarcerated women who chose to continue their pregnancies. These women frequently have high risk pregnancies as a result of the co-morbid factors of physical and sexual abuse, drug addiction, and mental health conditions, which are common place to women in prison (2010). Prisoners...