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Women Prisoners: No Right To Be A Mother


March 8, 2012 4:15pm - 5:45pm

Room Offsite

Women are the fastest growing population in the US prison system, outstripping men in all 50 states.

When asked to describe mothers who are in prison, many would characterize them as hysterical and psychotic, or neglectful and heartless. In essence, they face harsher standards– laboring under the burden of lives filled with violence, drug abuse, and poverty while at the same time, being measured against – and failing– the standard of the ideal mother.

That said, women are only a small part of the overall prison population, at around 7 percent. So why focus on women prisoners?

The panel will feature Stanford Law Professor, Joan Petersilia, in conversation with leaders of non–profit organizations, to discuss this growing issue of women prisoners. The discussion will look at the realities of women's incarceration today, including the impact on families, communities and recidivism, as well as possible solutions.

Facts about women in prison:

  • In California, the population of women in prison grew 1,522% between 1977 and 2004, rising from 661 female inmates to 10,882
  • Black women represent 30 percent of all females incarcerated under state or federal jurisdiction, and Hispanic women 16 percent
  • Two–thirds of incarcerated women are mothers of a minor child
  • Children of incarcerated women often fall into the foster care system or are subject to fast–track adoption policies

This event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow. Please click "Website" below for more details.