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Women as Inmates

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FC: Women as Inmates | 7/2005; Author Unknown; http://www.nij.gov/journals/252/reentry.html

1: During the past few years, the percentage of female inmates, has continuously increased. Perhaps this is because of society's "get tough on crime" approach or because the legal system encourages women to be sentenced equally as men. Whatever the cause may be, one thing is certain: the reasons women are incarcerated and the toll their incarceration takes on their families is quite different. | 2011; Author Unknown; Jailproject.com

2: Female inmates are often denied essential medical services, especially those who are pregnant during their incarceration. Furthermore, they often are not able to receive the routine check-ups most women need, such as pap-smears and mammograms. There are often few medical staff members available to help female inmates, thus, inmates with illnesses or diseases such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or even asthma have to sometimes wait for long periods of time before they are seen by the medical staff. | 9/3/2009; Author Unknown; http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/9/3/1939/59576

3: During the year 2000, there were approximately 200,000 children under the age of 18 whose mother was incarcerated. Often, these children are sent to DHS custody. If the child is lucky, there is a family member who is willing to take care of the child until the mother is released. This is not a pleasant situation for those children, especially those whose mothers are incarcerated for a long period of time. The mothers feel as though they are missing out on their child's life, and the child feels parent-less and sometimes confused. Also, some children find themselves growing up and living a criminal lifestyle themselves, thus, they become part of the never ending cycle. | 12/20/11; Andy Warren; http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2011/12/early-christmas-drives-home-a-message-for-inmate-moms/

4: In a lot of instances, women find themselves incarcerated because they decided to take up for their boyfriends/husbands. For instance, the police will search the home and find drugs, and the girlfriend will tell the cops the drugs were hers to prevent her boyfriend from being incarcerated. | 9/22/11; Jacksonville Police Department; http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/09/ap-ex-mtv-show-couple-arrested-at-little-rock-air-force-base-092211/

5: Traditionally, prisons have tried to provide the same services to female inmates that they provided to male inmates. However, research shows that women do not always benefit from the programs offered to males. Some females overcome special emotional, social, and physical challenges before they can properly integrate back in to society. Therefore, now that facilities are realizing that their programs are not a one size fits all solution, many programs are now being specifically designed for female inmates. | 5/27/2009; Author Unkown; http://bloomington.in.gov/documents/viewDocument.php?document_id=3981

6: As with any inmate, the prison lifestyle can affect female inmates emotionally. Many inmates find themselves expressing feelings of shame, humiliation, and fear. In federal women’s correctional facilities, 70% of the guards are male. Research has shown that incarcerated women have been subject to rape, sexual assault and harassment, and groping during body searches. Women are forced to be watched by male guards while undressing and taking a shower, thus, they can begin to feel somewhat humiliated. | 6/11/2010; Mark Perry; http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/06/huge-gender-disparities-prisoners.html

7: The feminist sociological perspective would argue that people must take into consideration how women's criminal experiences are different from that of men's. Also women's experiences based on race, class, age, and ethnicity must be taken in to consideration. It is often argued that women find themselves in a criminal lifestyle because of problems such as role entrapment, economic marginalization, and victimization as a survival response. Although both women and men are incarcerated and and the reasons vary, one thing that is certain is that women face many challenges with incarceration that are not experienced by many male inmates.

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