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Women in Prison: Who take care of the children - Research Paper Example

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This is the case of women in prison who once incarcerated leave society more problems to mind than resolutions to be at peace with. Because most women in…
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Women in Prison: Who take care of the children
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Download file to see previous pages needs inherent in their gender in and outside prison cells are enough to consider women in prison a unique group with unique needs worthy of examination. Women in prison are far different from men in prison in various ways: (1) in terms of the nature of crimes committed and the reason for committing such crimes; (2) in terms of their physical and psycho-social needs; and most of all (3) in terms of the family responsibility they have to leave behind. Williams and Schulte-Day (2006) rightly stated that “Incarceration creates a unique and complex set of problems for these women and their children and families” (p. 78).
First, unlike men who mostly go to prison for violent crimes, most women are held in prison for non-violent economic crimes (Deck, 1988; Covington, 1998) with 80% in some states, of which 60% are drug-related (Williams and Schulte-Day, 2006, p. 113). According to the Amnesty International, for every three women in prison one is being charged of drug offense (Hazley, 2001). In fact, critics of the law (Corvington, 1998; Lawrence & Williams, 2006; Rebecca Project for Human Rights, The, 2010) attribute the explosive increase of women in prison to the federal state’s 1986 mandatory drug sentencing law – the ‘war on drugs’ – which they said has unintentionally become a ‘war against women’ furthering their victimization. By 1998, women inmates constituted 7.5% of all federal inmates; of this number 72% of were held in prison due to drug offense (Marie, 2006, p. 487). More disturbingly, behind these data is the ugly reality that many women in prison has committed crimes most oftentimes forced either by their partners or by their circumstances of abject poverty, lack of education, and lack of support (Hazley, 2001; Marie, 2006; Zust, 2008). “Most female prisoners are poor, undereducated, unskilled, single mothers, and a disproportionate number of them are women of color” (Covington, 1998, p. 143). In short, threatened and powerless with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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