Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-22-2019

Abstract

Although men make up a significant majority of the country’s prison population, the United States has the highest rate of incarceration of women in the world.1 In recent years, women have been the fastest growing segment of our population in jails and prisons. The significant but insufficient decline we have seen with respect to the overall prison population eclipses or obscures the trend we have seen in the imprisonment of women. While the trends vary from state to state, the overall picture for women has been far worse than for men. In most states the women’s population has either grown, outpaced men’s population, and/or declined less dramatically than the men’s population.2 Like prisoners generally, women in prisons are disproportionately people of color, overwhelmingly poor, survivors of trauma and abuse, and have high rates of both physical and mental illness as well as substance abuse.3 But because prisons are closed institutions, they operate far from public scrutiny and without adequate oversight. … In my written testimony, I address:

1. The issue of women’s health care in prisons and some of the legal barriers prevent women from receiving adequate care

2. The lack of adequate legal protections with respect to health and safety of transgender women

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