[Pnews] New Report Shows 1 in 4 Adult Women Have Family in Prison

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 27 11:00:06 EDT 2015

*New Study Shows Stunning Number of Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones 
in the U.S.*

On May 20, 2015, the Du Bois Review published /Racial Inequalities in 
Connectedness to Imprisoned Individuals in the United States/ 
<#14d920e87e15dd46__ftn1> a groundbreaking article exposing the 
devastating effects of mass incarceration on the women who are so often 
left behind to pick up the pieces.

The article reports that *1 in 4 women *in the United States currently 
has an imprisoned family member.[2] <#14d920e87e15dd46__ftn2> Forty-four 
percent of black women - just over *1 in 2.5* have an incarcerated 
family member, compared to 12 percent of white women. Black women have 
over 11 times as many imprisoned family members as white women, and are 
more likely to be connected to multiple people in prison. *Over 6 
million black women* in the United States have a family member currently 

While the racial inequalities are striking, the number of women overall 
affected by the incarceration of family members and loved ones is 
staggering. The study makes clear that women in the United States 
currently have unprecedented levels of connectedness to people in 
prison. With men making up 90 percent of the 2.2 millionpeople currently 
incarcerated, women who have incarcerated loved ones are often left 
raising children, managing family finances, and facing stigma in their 
communities and workplaces. As a result, these women are at greater risk 
for a whole host of harmful health and economic outcomes.

As Anita Wills, a member of Essie Justice Group, explains, “In 2003, 
when my son Kerry was sentenced to 66 years in prison, I was devastated. 
I had to keep it together for my son and grandsons. I am now 68 years 
old and raising my 17-year-old grandson. This is not how I envisioned 
living my retirement years.

Terryon Cross, whose father is in prison, says, I've grown up with 
incarceration all around me. When my son Yancy was born, I was 16 years 
old. I want more than anything for my four-year-old to grow up without 
me having to drive to prison to see and hug our family. I don'€™t want 
him to think this is normal, even though it is happening all around us.

This trailblazing article sheds light on the scope of mass 
incarceration's effect on families and loved ones €”particularly 
women €”and alerts us to the fact that this group has been under-studied 
and often ignored. It helps lay the groundwork for a better 
understanding of the consequences of mass imprisonment in the United 
States and its particularly devastating impact on women with 
incarcerated loved ones.

*Essie Justice Group*is an organization that works directly with women 
with incarcerated loved ones. To speak to us for comment on the report 
or to be put in touch with the authors of the article, please email 
gina at essiejusticegroup.org <mailto:gina at essiejusticegroup.org>.


[1] <#14d920e87e15dd46__ftnref> The article was co-authored by Hedwig 
Lee and Tyler McCormick of the University of Washington, Seattle; 
Margaret T. Hicken of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and 
Christopher Wildeman of Cornell University.

[2] <#14d920e87e15dd46__ftnref> €œFamily members” include male and 
female relatives such as aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as 
children, partners, and parents. It is important to note that this 
analysis focuses only on people serving sentences in prison, and not 
those in jail. Had the article included people in jail, the number of 
women affected by family member incarceration would be much higher.

Gina L. Clayton
Founder & Executive Director
Soros Justice Fellow 
<http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/us-programs/grantees/gina-clayton>Â IÂ 
Echoing Green Global Fellow 
Harvard Public Service Venture Fund Fellow 

Essie Justice Group
/@essie4justice /I www.essiejusticegroup.org 
O: (510) 740-2502 <tel:510%29%20740-2502>
C: (213) 369-5678 <tel:%28213%29%20369-5678>

/Essie is proudly housed by: /The Women's Foundation of California 
<http://www.womensfoundca.org/> 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 420, 
Oakland, CA 94612
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org

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