Rebuilding lives; keeping women and children together
Women offenders have special needs that often are not addressed during incarceration.
Because of their overwhelming needs, transitioning and reintegrating from long-term sentences in particular can be daunting for women ex-offenders. In 2018, there were roughly 3,946 women released from state prison in North Carolina, an increase by nearly 445 women from the previous year (NC DPS - Office of Research & Planning, 2018). More than 80% were mothers of minor children and had the primary responsibility for their care prior to and following incarceration. Also, women are more likely than men to experience higher levels of poverty, homelessness and abuse immediately preceding a jail or prison term. Thus, making the post-prison transition much more difficult.
Research suggests that focusing on the differences between male and female pathways to criminality and applying gender-specific intervention, yield better results. Overall, these practices contribute to more successful outcomes for women ex-offenders. The implementation of gender-responsive practices also help reduce female recidivism as well as the desire to become involved in the criminal justice system, which in turn benefits women and their families, the community and society as a whole.
The United States is the world's leader in incarceration.