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The Why

Over the past quarter century, there has been a profound change in the involvement of women within the criminal justice system. This is the result of more expensive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws, and post-conviction barriers to re-entry that uniquely affect women. The female incarcerated population stands nearly eight times higher than in 1980.. More than 60% of women in state prisons have a child under the age of 18. (1 Glaze, L.E., and Maruschak, L. M.(2009). Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

Given the dramatic growth of women’s incarceration in recent years, it’s concerning how little attention and how few resources have been directed to meeting the reentry needs of justice involved women. After all, we know that women have different pathways to incarceration than men, and distinct needs, including the treatment of past trauma and substance abuse disorders, and more broadly, escaping poverty and meeting the needs of their children and families. (

Florida Department of corrections annual report: Fiscal year 2018 – 2019.

Female admissions between July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019:   3,591 (12.5% of all).

Female releases between July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019:   3,594 (12.0% of all)