The vast majority of incarcerated people are men, so the facts about women are often lost. The Prison Policy Initiative is using our creative research strategies to uncover this data in order to advocate for criminal justice reform.
Our report breaks down women’s incarceration trends in state prisons for all 50 states since 1978, and identifies states where recent criminal justice reforms have left women behind. All too often, treating women’s incarceration as an afterthought holds back state efforts to decarcerate.
Our report uncovers where and why women fall under the control of our local, state, and federal systems. For the first time, we use our "whole pie" approach to give the public and policymakers the foundation to end mass incarceration without leaving women behind.
Our report reveals that every U.S. state incarcerates women at a higher rate than most countries. The report also shows the growth of women's incarceration in the U.S. over the last century.
With data scientist Daniel Kopf, we find that the ability to pay money bail is impossible for too many defendants because it represents almost a year of the typical woman defendant's income.
With data scientist Daniel Kopf, we uncover the data to show that even before their incarceration, the people in prison are much poorer than Americans of similar ages. This was the first report to provide national data on the pre-incarceration incomes of incarcerated women.