Seeing Red: Correctional Reform and the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act

Elizabeth Athaide-Victor1, Madeline Blouir1, Martha Jerew1, Olivia Osborn1, Breanna Steiff1
1Tiffin University

The fastest growing segment of prison population is women.  Yet, they continue to be ‘absent from the table’ when discussions of prison reform occur. A prime example of this originated in the Arizona prison system, which supplies women incarcerants with 12 feminine hygiene products a month.  This was not enough for inmates.  The correctional system allowed women to buy products, but the cost was determined that they would have had to work 27 hrs (at their rate of pay) to be able to afford to buy them.  An all-male panel was assembled to look into the issue.  The panel determined they would not hear a bill addressing this.  This prompted women from all over Arizona to mail in feminine products to elected officials in protest.  In July 2017, Senators Booker and Warren introduced the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, aimed at a multitude of issues incarcerated women face.  The authors of this research outline in great detail some of the issues female incarcerants face. They conducted a mixed factor 2x2x3 design examining several variables of concern such as gender, attitude, and knowledge regarding female incarcerants. Results indicated there was a direct bearing on variables and practices of state DOCs.

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