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Prisons: Prisons for Women - Conclusion

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Women in prison are typically young, poor, from minority communities, and have experienced significant problems in their life prior to imprisonment. More simply, women in prison have been triply marginalized by race, class, and gender (Bloom).

Throughout history, women have been sent to prison for offenses that differ dramatically from those of male prisoners. While the increasingly harsh treatment of the drug offender leads to the incarceration of thousands of women and men into the contemporary prison, women have been sent to prison in rates far surpassing those of men. Women are usually incarcerated for nonviolent property and drug offenses and are very often serving their first prison term. Women also "do their time" in ways different from men: The "play family" and other personalized relationships structure prison culture for women; racial and ethnic differences are less pronounced; and children remain an important part of women's lives, even while imprisoned.

While scholarship in the 1990s provided more detailed description of women's prisons and those confined to them, significant gaps in our knowledge about women's prisons remain. There is insufficient information about programs and policies that address the gender-specific needs of women in prison (Bloom and Covington) and little criminological theory that explains why women come to prisons (Chesney-Lind). McQuiade and Ehrenreich have also argued that we know virtually nothing about the characteristics of women prisoners across racial and ethnic groupings.

From the beginning, prisons in the United States were designed to punish men, with little consideration for women and their specific needs. Although the numbers of women in U.S. prisons continue to grow, programs and policies responsive to the needs of women prisoners has not kept pace. This lack of policy and research attention only continues the tradition of neglect and inattention that characterizes the history of prisons for women.

Prisons: Prisons for Women - Bibliography [next] [back] Prisons: Prisons for Women - Problems And Unmet Needs In The Contemporary Women's Prison

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about 7 years ago

regarding prison life for women that share difficulty adjusting do to their children are apart from their mothers and the emotional struggles that they undergo while doing time and trying to bond with their children. sometimes physcologially its a problem for them to adjust to prison life while not knowing how they can pass the time while incarcerated. I hear there are programs there for these women to pass the time there as well as drug programs and other "bonding programs" that felt are significat to helping these women in transitionalize into the community later.

One program that I felt could help since some of the women are from poor background , were involved in a non violent crime to which left them to do these offenses, I thought would be effective but dont think that there is a budget for this newly inventive idea. teach these women to sew . simple projects. simple things that can create confidence and learn how to sew for their children . but then again this is involves sharp needles and such and mass inpsections for each inmate that comes and goes thru this program setting. perhaps count the needles before and after each class . but sewing machines are now coming across so cheaply now. keeping the women in prison busy in mind and spirit should reduce the stress that some of the women feel . sewing for their children small projects or larger projects and sending home tokens of gifts from mothers incarcerated does give female inmates a sense of worth as well as "doing ' something for their loved one in the bonding process..Even sewing could produce positive effects on those inmates that earn privilges to become part of this newly idea of a program . I wouldnt mind directing that type of program.