What’s Life Like for Women in Prison?
Life in prison is difficult for anyone who is put behind bars. For women, however, being imprisoned creates substantially different risks than for men. Prisons are often not set up to meet the needs of women, despite the fact a growing number of women are being jailed in the United States.
Because of the unique challenges and risks imposed upon women behind bars, fighting the charges in an effort to stay out of prison is especially important for any woman who is arrested and facing the possibility of imprisonment. A New York federal criminal defense attorney with The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC can provide assistance to women who are facing the threat of jail time.
Life in Prison is Difficult For Women
The number of women prisoners has expanded dramatically in the United States. According to The Sentencing Project, the female prison population in 2014 was close to eight times higher than the female prison population in 1980. While there were just over 26,000 women imprisoned in 1980, a total of 215,332 women were incarcerated in 2014. Property crimes, drug crimes and technical violations are among the leading reasons why women are being imprisoned.
Prisons, realistically, are not set up to accommodate the needs of such a large influx of female prisoners. Women in prison are generally less likely than men to have private funds to pay for necessities that may be sold by the prison, according to Open Democracy. Many women are separated from their children and many lack even basic privacy in a prison setting.
Obtaining access to essential feminine hygiene products is also a challenge for many female prisoners, which is an issue that has come to the forefront lately with articles in New York Magazine and other prominent newspapers drawing attention to the problem.
These problems can have a profound impact on a woman’s experiences during incarceration. As Open Democracy warns: “In 2008, the UN’s independent expert on torture raised the bar for women by asserting that, in the context of detention, poor conditions can affect them more adversely, compared to men.”
Women are not only more likely to be harmed by poor conditions, but they also face the additional challenges of being in a criminal justice system that is often male-dominated. This, unfortunately, means there is also a risk of sexual assault by male guards. City Limits reports that there have been frequent issues with prisoners throughout New York. Anonymous surveys from 2008 and 2009 noted 11 U.S. correctional facilities with the highest rates of alleged sexual abuse by staff members. Three of those were located within New York.
Women need to be aware of the effects of imprisonment when responding to criminal charges. The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC attorneys are prepared to help women fight for their rights under the law. If you are accused of wrongdoing and are concerned prison is a possibility, you should contact us right away for help.