With growing public attention to the problem of mass incarceration, people want to know about women’s experiences with incarceration.
How many women are held in prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities in the United States? Why are they there? How are their experiences different from men’s? Further, how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the number of women behind bars?
These are important questions, but finding those answers requires not only disentangling the country’s decentralized and overlapping criminal legal systems, but also unearthing the frustratingly limited data that’s broken down by gender.