We have a nation of women behind bars now. 200,000 women are in jail. That is far more than any other country on the planet. They are all in there for crimes of stealing something or killing someone. Many become suicidal when they arrive. 63% are in jail for non-violent crimes like drugs and theft. Black women are incarcerated at 2 times the rate of white women. The rate is closing because of the new population. More white women are now going to jail driven over prescription drugs. he doctors are professional drug pushers. When did a doctor prescribe certain foods to eat or things to avoid towards an illness or a mentor to help you get through a disease? Hardly ever. But most likely you got a prescription for a drug and was not told of its possible side-effects.
The women are young and old. Many had a great life with husbands and children before they got addicted to prescription drugs and then went to stealing checks and doctor’s pads to get more drugs. What ever happened to rehabilitation before prison? What are they learning in prison besides nothing? When will this country even dwell on the effects of a parent in prison on the families of incarcerated individuals? Why must the entire innocent family suffer from a missing parent? Most prisoners need services and rehab not time locked away at a tremendous cost to the taxpayers. Yes, we want criminals off the streets of America but we do not want to support a population of sick people in jails that eventually are released again to the general population with no money, no skills, no families left and nowhere to go.
Doctors will prescribe dangerous expensive addictive drugs like Oxycontin and when that becomes too expensive and now a habit, people will go to heroin that is easily available on the streets. Before you know it, you are serving 13 years for stealing. The women are in jail and in jail for long sentences. In the last 14 years there have been a surge in giving women life sentences. They are nicknames tow taggers because at the end of their days they will end it there with a toe tag. Sad. Many are being treated for depression while in prison. Three times a day there are long lines of inmates waiting to go to a window for their cup of legal drugs.
Prisons now house 10 times the amount of mental patients than ever before. Women are being “classified” when they get into a physical fight with another inmate. Rage eventually takes over any sensible thoughts. There is a population of older women in prisons also on all sorts of medications using walkers and canes serving decades of incarceration. Prison is their home and life and fear takes over them when they are finally let out in their 60’s after a lifetime in prison. At times, even being let out is a nightmare. How can or will they support themselves? Mental and physical freedom is far away. They do not become better people. Something needs to change and change for the better not the worst.