Violent crime is on the decline amongst women, but life sentences are UP. That probably doesn’t make much sense, but the entire US prison system doesn’t.
Punishing women with life sentences is a drastic response to the failure to address major problems women and girls face.
A lot of the women in prison have experienced abuse. The Sentencing Project conducted a survey that found “prior to incarceration, 80% of female respondents had experienced physical abuse, 77% sexual abuse, and 84% witnessed violence at home.”
This can also happen IN PRISON, too, where women are subject to abuse from guards and other aspects of a failing system that’s not rehabilitating. The incarcerated women population went from less than 10,000 in the 1970s to over 100,000 by the year 2014!
Black women experience intimate partner violence and other forms of abuse at higher rates than other groups of women. There’s no doubt this contributes to the issue of mass incarceration in the Black community.
The truth is, if we want to fight back against mass incarceration, there are several approaches we can take. One of them is addressing the abuse of Black girls and women in our communities because this isn’t helping keep our families together, safe, and happy!