Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Worse Than Second Class: Solitary Confinement of Women in the United States

Worse Than Second Class: Solitary Confinement of Women in the United States

American Civil Liberties Union. Worse Than Second Class: Solitary Confinement of Women in the United States. 2014.

This report by the ACLU details the unique harms and dangers of placing incarcerated women in isolation. While all incarcerated people are “entitled to humane treatment, a safe and secure environment, and access to rehabilitative services,” there are several key areas where women differ from their male incarcerated counterparts. Nearly fifty percent more women than men in federal facilities have been diagnosed with mental health conditions, and women also report past physical and sexual abuse and other traumas at a higher rate than men. Further, women are more likely than men to be “the primary or sole caretaker of their children prior to incarceration.” Transgender women are also frequently sent to male prisons and placed in isolated “protective custody,” which can harm them immensely. This report concludes with policy recommendations for strategies to respond to the unique needs of incarcerated women and women in segregation.

Click here to view the report.

Keywords: solitary confinement, segregation, women in segregation, administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation, conditions of confinement, vulnerable populations

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