Black women represent 30 percent of all females incarcerated under state or federal jurisdiction. In 2011, black women were more than three times as likely as white women to be incarcerated in prison or jail.
During the last 20 years, there has been a profound change in the manner in which women are
treated within the criminal justice system. This has been a result of more expansive law enforcement
efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws, and post-conviction barriers to reentry that uniquely affect
women. In response, the consideration of a gender-specific approach to studying criminal justice
policy has moved from a mere footnote to a full-fledged reform movement.
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