Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Idaho has fourth highest rate of incarcerated women as national numbers have skyrocketed

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Between 1980 and 2016, the number of women locked behind bars has increased by 700 percent, from 26,378 to 213,722, according to a new report by the Sentencing Project, a Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group that works to reduce mass incarceration.
Courtesy of the Sentencing Project
In Idaho, women were imprisoned at a rate of 113 per 100,000 people in 2016, which is the fourth highest in the nation. The national average is 57 per 100,000. Washington state incarcerates 45 women per 100,000, according to the report.

The Sentencing Project suggests the increase is the result of "more expansive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws and post-conviction barriers to re-entry that uniquely affect women."

Although the rate of imprisoned African American women has been decreasing since 2000, in 2016, the rate of African American women was twice as high as white women: 96 per 100,000 compared to 49 white women per 100,000.
Courtesy of the Sentencing Project
Another report by the think tank Prison Policy Initiative, which is also advocating to reduce mass incarceration, identifies women as the "fastest-growing segment of the incarcerated population." A major driver of that growth, the report says, is the proportion of women held in local jails. Whereas twice as many men are locked in state prisons as they are in local jails, incarcerated women are split almost evenly between jails and prisons.

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About The Author

Mitch Ryals

Mitch covers cops, crime and courts for the Inlander. He moved to Spokane in 2015 from his hometown of St. Louis, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He likes bikes, beer and baseball. And coffee. He dislikes lemon candy, close-mindedness and liars. And temperatures below 40 degrees.