Mothers in Prison...
- More than 90,000 women are incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails.
- Women are the fastest growing population in prisons and jails.
- The number of women in prison increased threefold from 1980 to 1990.
- 60,000 of the women in State prisons are mothers to dependent children.
- The cost of incarcerating a woman in New York State prison for one year is $30,000. In New York City jails, the cost is $59,000.
- The median cost of prison construction across the country is $52,000 per bed.
- 75% of women in prison are serving sentences for non-violent offenses.
- The majority of women in prison for violent offenses are accused of crimes that involve a spouse, relative, or acquaintance. Many of the women were defending themselves against an abusive partner; they are not a threat to community safety.
- More than 40% of women prisoners were physically or sexually abused prior to incarceration.
- The dramatic increase in the women's prison population is driven largely by mandatory drug sentences. In 1991, 1 in 3 women in State prison were serving time for a drug crime, compared to 1 of 8 in 1986.
- In 1982, New York State sent 67 women to prison for drug offenses; by 1993, that number had grown to 1,315--an increase of 2000%.
- Many women who are in prison for drug crimes were unknowingly exploited, coerced, or tricked into the drug trade. So-called "drug mules" are trapped by mandatory sentencing structures.
1012 Eighth Avenue - Brooklyn, N.Y. - 718-499-6704 - Fax: 718-832-2832