Why is the increased incarceration rate of women such an issue in jails across America? What four factors have had the most influence in female offender behavior?


The increase in the number of women who undergo incarceration in America is of a concern because statistics reveal that more women have been going to prison as compared to their male counterparts. For instance, between the year 2000 and 2009, the percentage of women who went to prison during that time increase by a margin of 21.6 percent as compared to men who only had 15.6 percent (Currie, 1998). If the statistics are anything to go by then it means that more women will be expected to go to either the state or the federal prisons in the future. The resulting effect of having more women go to prisons is that there are more families that get torn apart than what was witnessed in the earlier years.

The issue of women going to jail is of a great concern because most of those who get jail sentences are young women who have not completed their secondary education. Therefore by the time they complete their jail terms, they are normally of age and cannot therefore go back to school. The economy is therefore dealt a big blow because such characters are not able to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Apart from that, incarceration leads to an increase in the number of women with mental problems (Smykla, 2015). Additionally, statistics show that 2.4 percent of the women who were imprisoned in the year 2004 were diagnosed to be HIV positive.

The factors that mostly contribute to women getting incarcerated include their involvement in either property or drugs related crimes. Moreover, there are those who get sentenced as a result of taking part in violent criminal activities (Sheets, 2007). Finally, there are those women who are sent to jail as a result of taking part in inner city crimes that are in most cases caused by both social and economic isolation.



Briefing Sheets (2007). Women in the Criminal Justice System. 514 Tenth Street, NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC

Elliott Currie (1998). Crime and Punishment in America. New York times. Web. Http:// http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/c/currie-crime.html. Accessed 7 January, 2015.

Schmalleger, F., & Smykla, J. O. (2015). Corrections in the 21st century (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education

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