#knowyourfacts: women (esp. mothers) in prison
I say god damn.
Mothers behind bars equal roughly 60% of the female prison population AND are invisible to most of us. Why? Most mothers’ pathways to incarceration are complex, and often rooted in issues of sexual and physical violence in their own youth/childhood.
What's more - Following the introduction of mandatory sentencing to the federal drug laws in the mid-1980s (yeah you know... the really awful 'War on Drugs' that shitty #JeffSessions is trying to bring back AND impacts low income and minority populations the most) the number of women in prison has risen by 400%. FOUR HUNDRED FUCKING PERCENT, which recently passed rates for men.
ps - The percentage of females incarcerated for drug offenses now surpasses that of males AND most of these women are non-violent, first-time offenders. #jesuschrist
things to think about:
- Prenatal Care: Thirty-eight states received failing grades (D/F) for their failure to institute adequate policies, or any policies at all, requiring that incarcerated pregnant women
- Shackling: Thirty-six states received failing grades (D/F) for their failure to comprehensively limit, or limit at all, the use of restraints on pregnant women during transportation, labor and delivery and postpartum recuperation.
- Family-Based Treatment as an Alternative to Incarceration: Seventeen states received a failing grade (F) for their lack of adequate access to family-based treatment programs for non-violent women who are parenting.
- Prison Nurseries: Thirty-eight states received failing grades (D/F) for failing to offer prison nurseries to new mothers who are incarcerated. While a far less preferred option than alternative sentencing, prison nursery programs still provide some opportunity for mother-child bonding and attachment.
- 'Mothers and Infants Nurturing Together' (MINT): BOP (i.e. Federal Bureau of Prisons) has a program called MINT which provides alternative community-based sentencing for women who have recently given birth and have less than five years left on their prison terms. Currently MINT serves only a small portion of mothers in federal prison.
All this and we haven't even begun to dive into the negative impacts felt by hundreds of thousands of children left motherless because of incarceration. #whoa
what you can do:
Check out the Prison Activist Resource Center. They have a great resource guide and specialize in many specific groups, including women in prison, the LGBTQQIA+ population, and more. Another nonprofit Prison Fellowship has a specific set of resources for the needs of female prisoners, yeah... they are a religious organization. But they're doing good work.