All information in this section has been collected from various web sites, publications, and peer reviewed documents.
Nationally, there are more than 8x as many women incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails as there were in 1980, increasing in number from 12,300 in 1980 to 182,271 by 2002. Expanding at 4.6% annually between 1995 and 2005, women now account for 7% of the population in state and federal prisons.
There are 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails—a 500% increase over the last 40 years. Changes in law and policy, not changes in crime rates, explain most of this increase. The results are overcrowding in prisons and fiscal burdens on states, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not an effective means of achieving public safety
The most common age range for children with at least one incarcerated parent is from 0–9 years old, followed by children from 10 to 17 years old.
In terms of racial demographics of children with incarcerated parents, Latino children are three times more likely to have a parent in prison in comparison to white children.
Black children are about eight times more likely to have a parent in prison in comparison to white children.
Nearly half of the children with an incarcerated father are Black children. This is data that has been published in scholarly and peer-reviewed articles, but as the article "Children of Color and Parental Incarceration: Implications for Research, Theory, and Practice" states, "these data among racial minorities must be carefully interpreted because higher numbers may be a reflection of larger societal issues (such as relative degree of involvement in crime, disparate law enforcement practices, sentencing parole policies and practices and biased decision making... rather than a problem among certain groups."
The number of women in prison increased at nearly 1.5 times the rate of men (637% versus 419%) from 1980 to 2011.
According to The Sentencing Project, the lifetime likelihood of imprisonment for women is 1 in 56. However, the likelihood increases to 1 in 19 for black women (the likelihood is 1 in 45 and 1 in 118 for Hispanic and white women, respectively)
The number of prisons for women has multiplied eight times over the last three decades
More than 65% of women in state prisons report being parents of children under the age of 18
64% of mothers in state prisons lived with their children before they were sent to prison compared to 47% of fathers
1 in 25 women in state prisons and 1 in 33 in federal prisons are pregnant when admitted to prison
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of women in state prisons in 2004 had symptoms of a current mental health problem, compared to 55% of men.
A number of states continue the barbaric practice of shackling an incarcerated women during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Women in state prisons are more likely than men to be incarcerated for a drug or property offense. Twenty-six percent of women in prison have been convicted of a drug offense, compared to 13% of men in prison; 24% of incarcerated women have been convicted of a property crime, compared to 16% among incarcerated men.
More than 60% of women in state prisons have a child under the age of 18.1
source: Sickmund, M., Sladky, T.J., Kang, W., & Puzzanchera, C. (2019). “Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement
In the past two years, more than 3,600 women have ended up in jail in Montgomery County, Ohio, for addiction-related crimes, a number that’s doubled since 2014.
"Why are more Women incarcerated now than ever before?". Published April 6,2018, USA Today
Estimates suggest that 2.7 million children have at least one parent behind bars, and at least 5 million have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives.
In 2008 alone, states spent more than $49 billion on corrections, an increase from $11 billion 20 years before.(http:www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bys/pub/pdf/iptc.pdf)
Stressful separation from parents incarcerated and their children show effects on boys different than girls.
Boys tend to exhibit outward signs of behavior and girls tend to internalized problems. (Cowan et al, 1994; Cummings and Campbell 2000.)