Those who take care of the children with an incarcerated mother where the mother is the primary caregiver, the financial costs of raising that incarcerated mother’s children limits the amount of resources people send to the mother in prison.
As stated in the source “Surviving incarceration: Two prison-based peer programs build communities of support for female offenders,” mothers in prison generally “worry about the welfare of their children, if their children are properly cared for, and if they will be able to maintain long-lasting bonds with their children in lieu of these barriers.” All the women on death row in the past two centuries committed murder, with the exception of Ethel Rosenberg who was sentenced to death for espionage.
She was the first, and last, woman ever imprisoned there, and was held in deplorable conditions including isolation and twenty-four hour observation.
While Assata was eventually transferred to a women's prison, her treatment illustrates the fact that women were held in male facilities far into the twentieth century, and indicates that racial prejudice continues to play a pivotal role in determining how women are treated during a period of incarceration.
(Mumola) It is likely that men like women experienced traumatic events in their childhood, but research has shown that women experience a higher rate of trauma.
Women do not have the option of transferring to another facility like men do and they “experience additional deprivations” as they do not have the option to transfer in cases of problematic issues with other inmates or work staff or in cases of desiring to be closer to home.
This rapid boom of female prisoners is something the primarily male-dominated prison system was not structurally prepared for and, as a result, female prisons often lack the resources to accommodate the specific social, mental, healthcare needs of these women.
The first American female correctional facility with dedicated buildings and staff was the Mount Pleasant Female Prison in Ossining, New York; the facility had some operational dependence on nearby Sing Sing, a men's prison.
Child care is also another issue that women must worry about when they are incarcerated.
According to Mumola, 64% of women were primary guardians for their children prior to being incarcerated compared to men at only 44%.
Within the US, the rate of female incarceration increased five fold in a two decade span ending in 2001; the increase occurred because of increased prosecutions and convictions of offenses related to recreational drugs, increases in the severity of offenses, and a lack of community sanctions and treatment for women who violate drug laws.
Tough-on-crime legislation and legislation associated with the war on drugs have been connected to the increasing rate of the incarceration of women of color from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
This article discusses the incarceration of women in prisons within the United States.