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Resolution on the Rise of Female Incarceration in the U.S.

April 30, 2020


We are concerned with the rising rate of incarcerated women in the United States.

We know that:

  • In the last three decades, the U.S. has seen a 750% increase in the number of women who are incarcerated, growing from approximately 26,000 in 1980 to 219,000 in 2018 (twice the rate of growth of incarcerated men).
  • Almost two-thirds of women who are incarcerated are women of color.
  • Most women who are incarcerated are living in poverty.
  • The majority of women who are incarcerated are survivors of violence: sexual (86%), intimate partner (77%), or caregiver (60%).
  • Many women who are incarcerated suffer from behavioral health issues such as substance abuse (82%) and serious mental illness (32%).
  • About 50% of women were abusing alcohol or drugs at the time of their crime.
  • More than half (56%) of females who are incarcerated are imprisoned or awaiting trial for low-level offenses, such as drug or property crimes.

Read the full resolution:

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