There's often a conversation about how significantly mass incarceration still impacts non-incarcerated Black women, from mentally to financially. But Black women themselves are still in prisons! In fact, there’s a new incarceration wave that you need to know about.
Black women are only 13% of women in the country but make up 44% of women in jail and 30% of the women's prison population. The incarcerated men's population is bigger, but the women’s incarceration rate is increasing much faster.
In Texas, for example, the incarceration rate for women has increased by over 1,000% since 1980, with single Black women being affected the most! Still, despite all this, nearly all data about prison life are based on men.
What are some of the problems more unique to incarcerated Black women being neglected?
Prison staff disproportionately sexually abuse women. Women have less access to educational and employment programs. Women also get disciplined more for less serious infractions. And, the majority are mothers - most were even the sole caregivers of their children before their incarceration.
Just because decision makers and researchers aren't addressing a critical part of our community doesn't mean we can't. Strong Black communities and families can’t exist without uplifting Black women. If WE do, however, then we can successfully challenge the prison system - once and for all.