Life in prison can bring about several problems for female prisoners in ways many might not expect. This is because not only do they have to face new issues in jail, but they also have to deal with the problems that resulted from their lives before imprisonment.
Female prisoners, in particular, have experienced victimization, work and school failure, health problems, substance abuse, and various other issues. Several social factors also marginalize their participation in mainstream society and thus contribute to the growing number of women in prison. These factors include poverty, single motherhood, homelessness, being a minority, etc.
And when these problems are not adequately addressed, they can make it impossible for women to manage the existing issues during their imprisonment, which can significantly affect a woman’s overall well-being.
Being Separated From Loved Ones
Almost two-thirds of female prisoners are mothers, with two-thirds of them having children under the age of 18. Women in prison face many problems in staying connected to their children and are often confronted by obstacles created by the correctional systems and child welfare agencies.
Plus, there is the distance between the children’s home and the correctional centres, including a lack of transportation and limited economic resources that compromise female prisoners’ ability to maintain relationships with their loved ones.
Little to No Substance Abuse Treatment
Female inmates with an extensive history of alcohol and drug abuse tend to get a relatively small percentage of treatment within the justice system.
There is a preliminary individual assessment and appropriate care to help these women deal with their substance abuse issues. Plus, if they are not given the proper treatment while incarcerated, they are more likely to fall back into the habit of substance abuse when they return to society.
Physical And Mental Healthcare
In addition to not getting primary healthcare, women offenders are not given proper treatment for their specific health needs related to issues before being imprisoned.
Even reproductive and pregnancy health needs are neglected in healthcare matters. Moreover, women in prison are exposed to infectious diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, STDs, and more. Pregnant inmates also lack essential prenatal and postnatal care, including inadequate knowledge of childbirth and parenting.
And what is worse is that these are just some of the many problems these female prisoners have to deal with daily. There is a dire need to solve these issues and help these women effectively serve their time in prison. Fortunately, professionals like Jamila Davis are already working towards improving the situation for incarcerated women.
As a revered African American entrepreneur, educator, motivational speaker, author, and prison reform activist, Jamila Davis serves as the CEO of Black Women’s Lives Matter and the VIP Online Academy.
As a formerly incarcerated woman, Davis re-entered society. He worked with her mother to establish Voices International Publications. This publishing company produces books to inspire imprisoned women to make the most of their possibilities.
Moreover, she co-founded Women Over Incarcerated, an advocacy group that fights sentence reforms for non-violent female federal offenders. She is currently creating programs that are helping at-risk students to avoid prison. Another one of her notable works includes being the CEO of Black Women’s Lives Matter, a non-profit organization set up to celebrate, highlight and give resources to black women.