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Too Many Women in Jail

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Although men comprise over 90% of inmates, and commit about 80% of violent crime, the United States has a much higher percentage of incarcerated women in jail than other developed countries.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines jail as follows:

“A place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody; specifically :such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (such as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those convicted of minor crimes.”

There are far too many women in jail (not convicted of any crime) waiting for trial—because they cannot afford bail. Studies have indicated that women in jail had an approximate annual median income of $11,000. Minority women had an even lower annual median income.

With such a low income, how could a woman afford even a $10,000 bail bond. Although a bail bondsman would accept 5-10% of the ordered $10,000 bail, most low income women do not have $500—$1,000. The majority of the jailed women are the only parent contributing the only financial support for their children.

Because many of the jailed women are the primary caretakers of their children, they are not usually considered flight risks.

The painful conclusion–incarcerated women (not convicted) are held in jail waiting for their court date, because they are poor. This shameful condition can be easily cured by judges acting humanely, when imposing bail.

The plight of poor women in jail, waiting for trial, is another example of our broken system of justice.

By; Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com
Prison Consultant

 

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7 Responses to Too Many Women in Jail

  1. Tami Tipton-Fletcher October 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    Hello Bradley,
    First, I want to thank you for the work you do with your publications/public education of our current issues surrounding the incarcerated.
    I was the Asst. DON of a 3200 inmate county jail in western PA.. Our issues may indeed evolve with minor traversing courses, but the real issues stay the same.
    As for this article, the “now” and the “usual” comfort zone always seems to prevail over trial and error or even attempted THOUGHT OUT cost containment processes.
    While these females have not been convicted, they remail waiting a trial date. Why not bracelet them and let them return to their children/family/home yet still be able to work if that has been the norm? If conditions are broken, then of course, incarceration would be warranted on prior alleged call AND flight attempt. Just an opinion from someone who worked the system, believes in justice – but also believes in grace & mercy for those who EARN it.

    • PrsonP@th October 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks Tami. I agree completely with your assessment.
      Best,
      Brad

  2. PrsonP@th October 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    A pure waste of good Talent .Release them now Please.
    Bobby

  3. PrsonP@th October 29, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Kevin– If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime. Stop the boo-hooing about too many women are incarcerated.

  4. PrsonP@th October 29, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    James– I guess prison isn’t the deterrent it is meant to be. Go back to making prison time hard, hard time and people will think twice about breaking the law. Screw their rights. Make prison hell on earth.

  5. PrsonP@th November 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    David– “The painful conclusion–incarcerated women (not convicted) are held in jail waiting for their court date, because they are poor. This shameful condition can be easily cured by judges acting humanely, when imposing bail”.
    I guess the thought of becoming financially independent never occurred to anyone. Saying they couldn’t become financially independent is a cop out. With that income they can go to school completely paid for by the state and federal government. They can even do it online with a computer given to them. They are their own failure, just as I was mine for a very long time.

  6. PrsonP@th November 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

    Edward–Too many people in jail.

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