Women in Prison

In recent years, a “gender gap” has developed among women and men in prison—with increasing numbers of women, but fewer men, being locked up. This troubling trend is examined in a new report by Prison Policy Initiative, a Public Welfare Foundation grantee.   

The report finds that while recent reforms have reduced the total number of people in state prisons since 2009, almost all the decline has been among men. In 35 states, women’s population numbers have fared worse than men’s, and, overall, women have become the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population. The report includes state recommendations to reverse mass incarceration among women as well as men.

To see the full report, click here.   



The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.

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