Dignity Behind Bars: The Ongoing Legal Efforts to Protect Incarcerated Women
Women are currently the fastest-growing segment of America’s prison population. The number of incarcerated women in the United States has increased by 750% since 1980, and there are currently over 200,000 women in American prisons and jails. While recent criminal justice reform efforts have reduced the overall prison population, the number of incarcerated women has remained steady as almost all of the affected prisoners have been men. The growing gender divide illustrates that more focus is needed to address the distinct ways that incarceration impacts women. In 2017, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) attempted the most significant federal reform effort on this issue: The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act (“the Dignity Act”).