Skip to main content

Reply to "More Blacks Going to Prison in 17 Key Election States"

Facts on women in prison

The number of women in state and federal prisons increased over 500 percent -- to 84,400 -- between 1980 and the end of 1998. (Women in Prison, Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems, GAO/GGD-00-22, December 1999, p. 2)

The annual prison population growth for women from 1990 through 1998 averaged 8.5 percent, versus an average annual increase of 6.6 percent for male inmates. (Women in Prison, Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems, GAO/GGD-00-22, December 1999, p. 3)

Black women were more than eight times as likely as white women to be in prison in 1997. (Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs, Human Rights Watch, May 2000, p. 3)

In 1997, 58.8 percent of the federal female inmates and 65.3 percent of all state female inmates had children under the age 18. (Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, August 2000, p. 2)

An estimated 126,100 children had a mother in prison in 1999, up from 63,700 in 1991. (Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, August 2000, p. 2)

Women and drug offenses

Nationwide, 42.2 percent of all black women and 36.1 percent of all white women admitted to prison in 1996 were convicted of drug offenses. (Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs, Human Rights Watch, May 2000, p. 24)

Some 71.7 percent of the female inmates in federal prison were serving time for drug offenses in 1997, up from 65.5 percent in 1991. (Women in Prison, Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems, GAO/GGD-00-22, December 1999, p. 24)

The 3,133 women serving federal sentences for drug offenses account for 13.9 percent of all federal drug offenders. (1999 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, U.S. Sentencing Commission, p. 70)

The offense breakdown of female federal drug offenders shows 17.8 percent incarcerated on heroin charges, 16.2 percent on methamphetamine, 14.67 percent on powder cocaine, 13.9 percent on marijuana, 10.2 percent on crack cocaine, and 18.3 percent on charges for other drug types. (1999 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, U.S. Sentencing Commission, p. 70)

The number of women incarcerated in state prisons for drug offenses rose by 888 percent from 1986 to 1996, in contrast to a rise of 129 percent for non-drug offenses. (Gender and Justice: Women, Drugs and Sentencing Policy, by Marc Mauer, Cathy Potler and Richard Wolfe, November 1999)

Some 34.4 percent of female inmates in state prisons were serving time for drug offenses, up from 32.8 percent in 1991. (Women in Prison, Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems, GAO/GGD-00-22)







FAMM "¢ 1612 K St., N.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel: (202) 822-6700 "¢ Fax: (202) 822-6704
×
×
×
×