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Why the Rise in Female Incarcerations

All of the way throughout human history there has been regulations set in place for those who commit crimes. Most of the media representation and news coverage throughout the years has been centred around men's prisons, leaving out almost an entire history of the lives lead by women in their own institutions.


Thankfully due to further representation in multiple documentaries such as 'Girls Incarcerated' and shows such as the highly popular Netflix show, 'Orange is the New Black', the stories of women's prisons has finally come to light. This is extremely helpful as recent studies have shown that the numbers of female prisoners has been in rise compared to that of men.


But why is this?


The reasons for why women are incarcerated are often vastly different to that of men. Studies show that while rates for the perpetuation of domestic abuse are higher within men, women are far more likely to be arrested on account of domestic abuse, even though in these situations of opposite sex relationships when there is a greater chance of the woman defending herself. In fact, 57% of female prisoners in the UK are victims of domestic violence.


This shows that despite the figures showing that women are both at a higher risk of domestic violence, and to be defending themselves from it, yet are the most likely to face punishment for it. Those who advocate for women's rights have called for changes to be made so that victims of domestic abuse do not have to continue to undergo this treatment form the justice system.


Not only are women at an inconsiderate risk of incarcerations, but recent studies also show that female prisoners are 40% more likely to suffer from a mental illness, in comparison to that of male prisoners who are are at a 30% risk. Despite these worrying results that can be seen with both kinds of prisons, there is very little done to manage the mental health crisis seen with prisoners. This in turn affects their outcome when they leave prison. With the lack of help they receive within the prison system it is no surprise then why there is such a high number of those who fall back into criminal activities.


With the focus being on male incarcerations for so long throughout history it is now essential for greater attention to be given to the experiences of female prisoners.

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