Women of color and the war on crime: An explanation for the rise in Black female imprisonment

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Issue Date
2018-10-02
Authors
Harmon, Mark G.
Boppre, Breanna L.
Advisor
Citation

Harmon, Mark G.; Boppre, Breanna L. 2018. Women of color and the war on crime: An explanation for the rise in Black female imprisonment. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, vol. 16:no. 4:pp 309-332

Abstract

Since 1972, U.S. female imprisonment has risen twice as fast as male imprisonment, with increased disparities between White females and women of color. Such disparities are particularly stark for drug crimes, for which Black and Latina women are increasingly imprisoned. This article examines the relationship between the war on crime and the pronounced rise in Black female imprisonment. An analysis of data covering 40 states from 1983-2008 indicates that although women are less likely than men to be incarcerated, nonviolent offenses, particularly drug crimes, are increasingly driving the growth in female imprisonment and growing the racial disparity in female imprisonment.

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