Increasing the number of women inmates

This paper explains why the number of women behind bars is increasing thereby leading to many broken homes and overcrowded prisons. According to the statistical data, women made up 19.2 percent of the prison population in the month of September. This was the highest recorded percentage but dropped to 17.8 percent in the month of October. e. However, 1n 2012 women made 9.68 percent of the prison population though prisons remained above its 240-inmate maximum. More than 12 out of every 100 inmates are women.

According to experts, women are simply committing more crimes and given harsher sentences. Over the past several years, the types of crime have varied. Women have stolen money from senior citizens, driven drunk and committed multiple other high -profile crimes. Conversely, there is a corner of the criminal world more populated by women than ever. The drug issue is another major reason (Austin, 1992). Women get involved not only in the use of drugs but also in the sale of drugs. According to experts, women are frequently involved with a boyfriend who is in the drug trade. Sometimes they are actively involved or just along for the ride. According to the prison society, stiffer penalties for drug crimes have largely led to the spike in female incarceration. This rise correlates with the national war on drugs directly which began in the 1980s (Belknap, 1996).

An example of descriptive research where an importation model was used indicates that men are more likely to report seeking a career in correction for a steady paying job and to control and secure inmates. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to choose to work in corrections to help rehabilitate the offender and to work with others (Belknap, 1996). The survey indicates that there are gender differences in perception of dangerousness, job autonomy, and job satisfaction. Explanatory research indicates that female inmates aged 25 to 29  are victims of sexual abuse as a child, unmarried, have one to three children, have alcohol and drug abuse problem, multiple arrests, have low skills and held mainly low wage jobs. The survey shows that nearly 80 % of female prisoners had experienced some form of abuse with 29 % abused as children and 60% as adults usually by their partners (Austin, 1992). Exploratory research shows that substance use and abuse are major contributing factors in the increasing population of female inmates. A survey indicates that a majority of women offenders have a history of drug use and drug-related offenses. Therefore there is a need to target national surveys on incidence and prevalence of substance use during an arrest for this population.

The survey questions under each survey research provided above could include:

  • Is there a gender difference in occupational attitudes and job satisfaction among correctional personnel? ( Descriptive research)
  • How should gender difference towards occupational attitudes be addressed among the inmates? ( Descriptive Research)
  • Is there any percentage of female inmates who are victims of physical and sexual abuse? (Explanatory Research)
  • What other factors are female inmates aged 25 to 29 subjected to? (Explanatory Research)
  • Are substance use and drug abuse major contributing factors to increase in the number of female inmates? (Exploratory Research)
  • How should the history of drug use and drug-related offenses among women offenders be handled? (Exploratory Research)


Austin, J. B. (1992). Female offenders. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections.

Belknap, J. (1996). The invisible woman: Gender, crime, and justice. Cincinnati, OH: Wadsworth.



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