A new report commissioned by the Institute on Women & Criminal Justice finds that female imprisonment in the U.S. has skyrocketed 757 percent since 1977. Women are the fastest-growing segment of the prison population, surpassing male prison population growth in all 50 states. These trends have profound consequences for communities, families and the women themselves. The report finds that the rise in the female prison population has been punctuated by growth spikes that reached higher, lasted longer and often began earlier than those affecting men. The pace of growth has fallen since 2000, but the rate at which women are added to prison each year remains high.
"The Punitiveness Report-HARD HIT: The Growth in Imprisonment of Women, 1977-2004" takes an in-depth look at female prison population growth patterns and regional trends, and it provides the first state-by-state analysis of female imprisonment from 1977 to 2004, with findings from all 50 states. The report was authored by Dr. Natasha Frost, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, and Judith Greene and Kevin Pranis of Justice Strategies.