Research on female incarceration is critical to understanding the full consequences of mass incarceration and to unraveling the policies and practices that lead to their criminalization. The number of incarcerated women was nearly five times higher in 2020 than in 1980.
“Incarcerated Women and Girls” examines female incarceration trends and finds areas of both concern and hope. While the imprisonment rate for African American women was nearly twice that of white women in 2020, this disparity represents a sharp decline from 2000 when Black women were six times as likely to be imprisoned. Since then Black women’s imprisonment rate has decreased by 68% while white women’s rate has increased by 12%.