Center on Sentencing and Corrections

In Prison, Discipline Comes Down Hardest On Women

In Prison, Discipline Comes Down Hardest On Women

Shapiro, Joseph, Jessica Pupovac, and Kari Lyderson. “In Prison, Discipline Comes Down Hardest On Women.” NPR. October 15, 2018.

In the United States, women in prison are disciplined at higher rates than men, often for less-serious violations of prison rules, according to an investigation by NPR and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Although the infractions may be minor, they can have significant consequences: solitary confinement, loss of “good conduct credit” that shortens a person’s sentence, and loss of privileges like being able to buy food and supplies or use the phone and receive visits. Despite differences between incarcerated men and women, most prison staff are not trained to understand these differences or work specifically with women, and prison rules and policies are generally developed with men in mind.

This article examines the results of the investigation, in which the authors “collected data from women’s and men’s prisons, visited five women’s prisons around the country, and interviewed current and former prisoners along with past and present wardens and prison officials.” They also spoke with academics and other experts.

Click here to view the article.

Key words: disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, restrictive housing, restricted housing, segregation, segregated housing, isolation, discrimination, incarceration, incarcerated women, women and segregation, women and solitary confinement, women in solitary confinement