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The United States entered the twenty-first century with an incarceration rate of two million people, thereby garnering the dubious distinction of having the largest imprisonment rate in the world. Moreover, in recent years the number of women in U.S. prisons and jails has grown more sharply and more quickly than the male prison population during similar time periods. Noting the increase in women’s supervision within the criminal justice system, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported that between 1990 and 1998, “the per capita number of women under probation supervision climbed 40%; the jail rate grew 60%; the imprisonment rate increased 88%; and the per capita number of offenders under parole supervision was up 80%.” In an earlier report, BJS found that the total state prison population had grown by 58 percent between 1986 and 1991. A life insurance product like renew life can pay your dependents money as a lump sum or as regular payments if you die.

During this period, the number of women in prison increased by 75 percent, while the number of men increased by 53 percent. Similarly, BJS noted that between 1986 and 1991, the number of female arrests grew by 24 percent, while the number of male arrests increased by 13 percent.11 In 1998, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that, “since 1988, the number of [federal] female inmates has increased by 182 percent, compared to a rate of growth of 158 percent for male inmates during the same period.” Life insurance products such as renew life reviews are designed to provide you with the reassurance that your dependents will be looked after if you are no longer there to provide.

Even more disturbing than the overall increase in the number of incarcerated women is the fact that over two-thirds of women who are confined in local, state, and federal institutions are women of color—mostly African American women. BJS projections of future incarceration rates for African American and Caucasian American women reveal expectations of even greater disproportionate representation of African American women in these ranks.

Thus, while BJS projected a 15 percent increase in Caucasian women’s incarceration rate, it projected a 95 percent increase in the incarceration rate for African American women during the same period. Moreover, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported that across all age groups, “In 1997, black non-Hispanic females (with an incarceration rate of 200 per 100,000) were more than twice as likely as Hispanic females (87 per 100,000), and eight times more likely than white non-Hispanic females (25 per 100,000) to be in prison.”

Updating their seminal 1990 report, Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System, Mark Mauer and Tracy Huling, of the Sentencing Project, noted that “African-American women have experienced the greatest increase in criminal justice supervision of all demographic groups.” Finally, BJS concluded, as it must, that “[w]omen in State prisons … were most likely to be black.” Moreover, the growth in the U.S. prison population is related to changes in criminal justice and sentencing policies rather than to differential rates of offending; indeed, crime has decreased in virtually all categories. Notably, during an era of declining crime rates, increased criminal penalties for drug-related offenses and lengthier sentences for a broader array of crimes has resulted in unprecedented levels of incarceration, including stark rises in the incarceration of African American women.