Gender Bias for Women in Prison - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  724 Words
Date:  2022-12-05


Growing up, I have always found the interest in TV shows like "Inside America's Prison" and "Lockup". These series cover the different aspects of the prison lifestyle; some of which are heartbreaking, especially when there is gender bias for these women in prison. At often, when we hear the phrase "prison inmate" we tend to think of a male figure with tattoos all over his body, maybe in some gang, uses or used drugs, or has a hostile behaviour. The last thing that we think of is a female prison inmate who might be a mother, pregnant while incarcerated, with children left at home with no one to take care of them or perhaps she meets all the criteria of what the average person assumes of a prison inmate.

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Women's population in American prisons is rapidly increasing although this topic is occasionally overlooked when brought to attention. Female incarceration has substantial negative effects on their close family. According to Booker and Warren, more than 66% of female prisoners are mothers, with the vast majority of their children under the age of 18. When such mothers get imprisoned, they have no choice but depend on the goodwill of relatives, neighbours, close friends or Child protective services to take care of their children. After court sentencing, the federal court/prison has to decide where one is going to serve her sentence. The federal court does not regard where the family or close relatives are located before assigning the female to a prison (Palsha, 2016). The disturbance that this may impose on the family members is usually the foundation for a future of negligence ad devastation.

Pregnancy inside the prison is also another issue that is never well supported by many prisons in the U.S. The healthcare support given to pregnant women is discouraging and of inferior quality. Cases have been reported where females have given birth in very unconducive conditions with some not managing to give birth to live babies, even though that is not the case in all states. For some prisons, legislators have set up regulations which allow for the prisoner to be with their newborn for 2days inside the hospital before returning to prison. Victoria Law mentions an instance in June of 2012 when Nicole Guerrero found herself lying on a mat in a "one-person holding cell with no toilet, sink or emergency call button, known as the 'cage'" (Cloud, 2013) As she screamed for the nurse LaDonna Anderson beginning to feel her daughter's head breach, Anderson refused to help. A prison guard passing by saw Guerrero laying there abandoned and helpless and stepped in to aid her with delivering her daughter on a "blood and pus-covered mattress" (Law). The infant was a dark plum colour and showing no sign of life. Wrapped around the baby's neck was the umbilical cord restricting her from breathing, as Anderson arrived after hearing all the commotion she did nothing in her power to help the poor infant see another day. The Ambulance arrived and scrambled to the hospital to do all they could to save Guerrier's daughter's life. An hour later still in the "cage" Guerrero hears the breathtaking news that her daughter had passed away.

Therefore women and girls comprise the minority of the prisoners globally constituting an approximation of around ten per cent. Since they are few, the offenders mainly find themselves in the criminal justice systems designed for men with no address of the specific requirements. With no attention committed to women in prison to date, hence there is a lack of research as well as data available on their characteristics and background. Women in prison need to be catered for with almost most of their basic needs attended to. Besides, the state of their children when they are detained should be checked to help the young access the fundamental requirements when their mothers are in prison. Judges should be critical when judging women for the offences they have committed. Besides, the law should be provided which takes care of those women in prison.


Cloud, Henry, and John Townsend, 2013. "Five Things Every Child Needs From Their Mom." (Beta),

Morgan, Piers, director 2016. Killer Women With Piers Morgan..Palsha, Rebecca 2016. "Pregnant in Prison: What Happens to a Baby Born in Prison." KTUU News, 28,

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