Women in Prison

The vast majority of the more than 138,000 women in US prisons and jails today have been exposed to some form of sexually related intimidation or assault by correctional officers while serving their time.  This means:

  • Coerced sex in exchange for cigarettes, tampons, phone calls to their kids, etc.

  • Guards standing outside the showers, cells, and bathrooms leering and making lewd comments about the women's bodies.

  • Guards routinely stopping female prisoners to perform pat-searches that include groping of breasts and groins

  • Guards cornering women to conduct strip searches

Prison guards can effectively add or subtract time onto a woman's sentence for her behavior.  They can also determine access to privileges such as visitation, exercise, and employment.

18 states have policies or practices that allow pregnant women prisoners to be shackled or otherwise restrained during labor and delivery.  33 states require the restraint of pregnant women during transport to the hospital.