Incarcerated Women In Prisons

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Introduction According to Dowden & Andrews (1999), since 2010, there has been a growing concern over the increasing rate of incarceration for women: an alarming rate of 3.4 percent annually. Some experts like Kruttschnitt (2010) explain that the growth of incarcerated women population is due mainly to two major factors; one contributor to this phenomenon is the war on drugs. As politicians are passing more aggressive anti-drug policies and as police are cracking down on drug offenders, increasing amounts of women are being caught with illegal substances. The second reason is the the switch from indeterminate sentencing to determinate sentencing which is forcing women to stay in prison for longer than is necessary. This is more apparent because…show more content…
Studies have shown that women have reported histories of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, more than men which contribute to their mental instability. In 2005, 73.1 percent of women in state prisons had a mental health problem (Daniel, 2007). 80 percent of incarcerated women meet the criteria for at least one lifetime psychiatric disorder (Daniel, 2007). Substance abuse, dependence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression appear to be the most common mental health problems for female inmates (Daniel, 2007). Incarcerated women have also shown a strong link between childhood abuse and adult mental health problems. A 2006 study supported the notion that greater exposure to childhood adverse situations were associated with behavioral problems as well as mental health problems (Daniel, 2007). Incarcerated women have a higher incidence of mental health disorders than the general population. For example, 12 percent of females in the general population have symptoms of a mental health disorder compared to 73 percent of females in state prison, 61 percent in federal prisons, and 75 percent in local jails (Daniel, 2007). Most incarcerated women do not receive treatment or assistance for these problems and are unlikely to meet goals of mental stability without the help of prison resources. Incarcerated women who have a mental health issue are unlikely to benefit from treatment programs so they usually don’t even bother because studies have shown the women who did receive treatment still engaged in behaviors that led to incarceration, implying that the current treatment programs are not

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