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Female Prisoner Spike Is ‘Step In Wrong Direction,' Expert Says

For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. inmates increased, and the rise was much bigger for women sent to prison. "It's really disturbing that we're moving in the wrong direction," said Nazgol Ghadnoosh of the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy organization, Scripps News reports. Ghadnoosh says most women are convicted of non-violent crimes - like property or drug-related crimes - and these crimes are often considered to be crimes of poverty or addiction. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report on incarceration numbers from 2022 found that for the first time since 2013, the U.S. prison population increased by nearly 2%. One of the most notable statistics to researchers in this report: the number of women in state or federal prison increased by almost 5% from the end of 2021 to the end of 2022. 

Some 37 states and the federal system had more women prisoners in 2022 compared to 2021. "A lot of people don't understand that the system, it was only designed for men, but unfortunately now women are going through those same experiences," said Robyn Hasan Simpson of the Atlanta-based non-profit Women on the Rise. Hasan Simpson was one of those women. She spent a decade in the system. Now, she’s spending her time helping formerly incarcerated women get their lives on a positive road through her non-profit. "We try to educate women on the things that they need to actually help them address why they went to prison in the first place," said Hasan Simpson. She was not surprised to see the marked increase in women being incarcerated. She believes it's because more women carry most of the family responsibility and often do so alone, or with less pay. 


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