“For the past few years, America has started to take a closer look at our soaring prison population. Decades of tough-on-crime policies mean we now incarcerate 2.3 million people — the highest rate of imprisonment in the world. And who are the fastest-growing group of prisoners in the U.S.? Women and girls.
“The U.S. makes up just 5 percent of the global population, yet nearly one-third of all the female prisoners in the entire world are here in America.
“There are more than 200,000 women and girls incarcerated nationwide, a number that has increased by more than 700 percent since 1980. Men still make up the vast majority of inmates, but women in prison face unique challenges. Most are mothers. Prisons limit or charge money for basics like tampons and pads. Women are also more likely to be sexually assaulted, particularly by guards.”