Is It Time to Close Women’s Prisons?
Date:  11-14-2014

One person offers his view that women’s prisons are not the solution, but part of the problem within the criminal justice system
Bradley Schwartz has experienced the criminal justice system from both sides. He was a criminal defense attorney who also handled medical malpractice lawsuits for 35 years, and later was incarcerated for 15 months for a nonviolent crime.

When Schwartz got out of prison he drew on his experience and founded Prison Path to help those facing incarceration, and their families, better navigate the confusing and often cruel world of prison.

Schwartz posts weekly articles on his Prison Path website on topics related to incarceration.

On November 10, he posted an article about women who are in prison, and why we need to do more to greatly reduce the female prison population in America.

The following article is reposted with permission:

Close Women’s Prisons

By Prison Path on November 10, 2014

During the last three decades, the incarceration rate for women in the United states has increased 646%. Some states are higher and some states are lower, but overall, the statistics are alarming. For example, in Maine, a state which has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the United States, the incarceration rate for women increased 757% between 1977–2004. Two years ago, 12,000 women were arrested in Maine.

Similar to the men inmates, two main causes of women locked up were drugs and/or economic issues. There are over two million Americans presently incarcerated, but only seven percent of the inmates are women. The majority of the women imprisoned in the United States were found guilty of nonviolent crimes, have little education, little job experience, and many have suffered abuse in their past.

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