Beyond Safety: The Plight of Incarcerated Women
Mass incarceration is on the rise in the United States, a trend that increasingly affects women. As of 2014, 215,332 women were incarcerated in federal prisons, state prisons, and jails (Carson 2015). Although this number may pale in comparison to the number of men incarcerated in the United States, the potential negative effects of imprisonment on women are troublesome. Imprisonment can cause individuals to feel threatened in their new environments, causing them to adapt and seek out ways in which they can keep themselves safe. In their book In Search of Safety: Confronting Inequality in Women’s Imprisonment, Owen et al. (2017) address not only the various conditions of imprisonment that are harmful to women, but also how women ensure safety in an unsafe environment. The authors collected data with focus groups and surveys with inmates and staff at several geographically dispersed U.S. jails and prisons. Their findings expand our current understanding of incarcerated women and their...
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