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Women and the Criminal Justice System 
  • Between 1980 and 2014, the number of incarcerated women increased nationwide by more than 700%, rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 215,332 in 2014.

  • In 2018, there were 197 women released from prison in Wake County; 58 in Durham County; 18 in Orange County, and 87 in Johnston County.

  • In 2018, the total number of incarcerated women in North Carolina increased by less than 2% percent from 2016, while from 2017, the total number decreased by slightly over 3%. 

  • The rate of growth for female imprisonment has outpaced men by more than 50% between 1980 and 2014.

  • In 2014, the imprisonment rate for African American women (109 per 100,000) was more than twice the rate of imprisonment for white women (53 per 100,000).

  • Hispanic women were incarcerated at 1.2 times the rate of white women (64 vs. 53 per 100,000).

  • The rate of imprisonment for African American women has been declining since 2000, while the rate of imprisonment for white women continues to rise.

  • Between 2000 and 2014, the rate of imprisonment in state and federal prisons declined by 47% for black women, while the rate of imprisonment for white women rose by 56%.

  • At the national level, 65 out of every 100,000 women were in prison in 2014.

  • Women in state prisons are more likely than men to be incarcerated for a drug or property offense.

  • In 1986, 12% of women in state prisons were incarcerated for a drug offense; by 2014, 24% were incarcerated for a drug offense.


SOURCE: The Sentencing Project​; NC DPS Office of Research & Planning

These alarming statistics are why the work that we do and our mission are vitally important. Without the support and intervention of our organization, these numbers would likely worsen. At Reentry Center for Women, we offer five programs to help formerly incarcerated women adjust to their new lives:

The  Job Readiness Program is a limitless system to assist with all facets of the job search and connects women ex-offenders with prospective employers.

The Counseling Program is very intensive and administered by licensed and highly trained clinical professionals with the expertise to effectively handle gender-specific issues. 

The Educational Program allows women ex-offenders the opportunity to complete secondary education, take advantage of continuing education courses or enroll in college-level degree programs. 

The Recidivism Reduction Program encompasses a wide array of cognitive and behavioral strategies to help women ex-offenders stay the course. 

The Human Trafficking Elimination Program addresses and aims to eradicate a growing problem for at-risk women and law enforcement.

The Gang Violence Prevention Program is a comprehensively designed model to steer young females away from gangs. 

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