Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Women behind bars in the US

""Currently, US prisons and jails hold more than 1.5 million people, and 4.8 million more are under some form of criminal justice supervision in the community, such as probation and parole. In 1977, the number of women in prison was 11212 and in 2009, it was 105197—an increase of 938%. Today, more than 200 000 women are behind bars, and more than one million women are on probation or parole. The fact that a woman is also a mother caring for one or more children is no deterrent to incarceration. Two thirds of the incarcerated women in the United States have at least one minor child, and approximately five percent of women are pregnant when they begin their incarceration. This new era of mass incarceration—which is largely accepted by the public, defended by an army of lobbyists, and justified by a war on drugs deeply rooted in America's history of slavery and racism—makes it far more likely today than in 1973 that if Roe is overturned women will themselves be arrested and jailed."" (thanks Amir)