The United States of America is the country with the highest rates of incarceration in the world. Despite the fact that it comprises only 5 per cent of the world’s population, it accounts for nearly 25 per cent of the world’s prisoners. One of the reasons of these high numbers is the length of the prison sentences in the US, which exceeds the average length of sentences in any other country.
The US, along with the overall highest incarceration rates in the world, has the highest rates of female incarceration. Women in prison constitute more than one tenth of the whole prison population. The numbers of women incarcerated in state and federal prisons have been gradually increasing over the last 30 years. Where does this increase come from and what does it reveal about the US criminal justice system and the US justice policies? One crucial element that the statistics show is that drug offences substantially contributed to this increase. According to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports here are the most important numbers that designate the increase of the number of women in the US jails in the last 30 years:
Continue reading here.