I need your help. I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 17 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Graph showing rate of women's incarceration in the U.S. between 1910 and 2014. The rate remains mostly below 20 per 100,000 before climbing sharply after 1980, settling well above 120 in the current century.

Data Source: This graph is based on a number of different datasets that included women in all types of correctional facilities (including jails) and the total U.S. women's population for the corresponding year. For detailed sourcing, see http://www.prisonpolicy.org/global/women/#historical. (Graph: Peter Wagner, 2015)

This graph originally appeared in States of Women's Incarceration: The Global Context.

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