Women In Prisons

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There are 148,200 women in state and federal prisons (AI USA). African-American girls and women are becoming a fast growing population in our prisons and jails nation-wide. While much attention has been focused on the plight of young African-American males, girls have been involved in gangs, school fights, juvenile prisons and vandalism at a rate faster than that of boys. Also, the big issue that imprisoned women face is sexual assault and misconduct against them. In examining the reasons why women commit these crimes, Professor Johnson speaks of her recently published book, Inner Lives: Voices of African American Women in Prison. In telling their stories, the women often shared similar experiences of traumas throughout their lives, such…show more content…
Women are most vulnerable to different forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment or abuse. Women that do not fit the “norm”, such as lesbians, face increased risk of torture and abuse. Racism and economic discrimination are totally linked to sexism in our culture, creating severe inequalities in the court system and the prison system. For example, black women are twice as likely to be convicted of killing their abusive husbands than are white women, and black women receive longer jail time and higher fines than do to white women for the same crimes. Stiffer punishment for crack cocaine use also has landed more black women in prison, and for longer sentences than white women (and men). There is no doubt that there’s feminization of poverty and racial stereotyping. More than one out of three black women jailed did not complete high school, were unemployed, or had incomes below the poverty level at the time of the arrest (PARC). While black men are stereotyped as violent, drug dealing “gangstas,” black women are stereotyped as sexually loose, conniving, untrustworthy, welfare queens. Many of the mostly middle class judges and jurors believe that black women offenders are menaces to
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