Study Examines Increase In Female Prison Population In Arizona

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 6:05am
Updated: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 9:02am

The political advocacy group FWD.us has published a study looking at incarceration rates for women in Arizona.

The number of women in Arizona prisons has doubled in the past 18 years from 2,000 to more than 4,000.

FWD.us Director of Criminal Justice Reform Zöe Towns says more than half of the women reported having a dependent.

"I don’t know that we think enough about what the impact will be for the families that are left behind to cover the fees and fines and restitution with half of the income that they had before," Towns said, calling it a "ripple effect."

The study found an increase in the number of women sent to prison in Arizona for first-time, nonviolent offenses.

Towns says there are several reasons for the increase. "In 2000, only 4 percent of women admitted to prison had no prior felony convictions.”

According to the study, by 2017, that number had increased to 34 percent.

The report is based on 30 years of records from the Department of Corrections.

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