CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Heimer et al. on Women's Incarceration Rates

Karen HeimerSarah E. Malone, and Stacy De Coster (University of Iowa, University of Iowa and North Carolina State University) have posted Trends in Women's Incarceration Rates in US Prisons and Jails: A Tale of Inequalities (Annual Review of Criminology, Vol. 6, pp. 85-106, 2023) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Women's rates of imprisonment and incarceration in jails grew faster than men's rates during the prison boom in the United States. Even during the recent period of modest decline in incarceration, women's rates have decreased less than men's rates. The number of women in prisons and jails in the United States is now at a historic high. Yet research on mass incarceration most often ignores women's imprisonment and confinement in jails. This review examines trends in women's incarceration, highlighting important disparities for Black, Latina, and American Indian/Indigenous women. It contextualizes these trends in terms of the economic and social disadvantages of women prior to incarceration as well as inequalities that are created by women's incarceration for families, communities, and women themselves. The review concludes by calling for improved data on women's imprisonment and jail trends, particularly regarding race and ethnicity, as well as more research and theoretical development.

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