The rate of convicted women has rapidly increased since 1980 ("Fact sheet: Women in Prison", 2006). Forgery and illegal use of credit are the two most common crimes ("Women in Prison"). There are also cases of theft and handling of stolen goods (Tchaikovsky, 2007). On the other hand, self-defense has been the main reason why women commit violent crimes such as killing their partners ("Women in Prison").
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Inside prison, some committed suicide while others suffer from mental illnesses. There are also reported cases of sexual assault like rape among women by guards and staffs. According to the Bureau of Justice (2006), 47% are abused in state prisons and 39% sexually abused. There are also cases of HIV/AIDS infection which is greater in women than men with 3.6% and 2% in 2000 respectively ("Fact sheet: Women in Prison", 2006). Among these women, majority are African-American and suffering from longer terms than whites ("Women in Prison").
There are many considerable effects of imprisonment among women such as lost of communication with their family; children are left behind, and inmates suffering from mental illnesses and sexual abuse. These are just some of the issues that the government should act upon. In addressing these issues, projects and campaigns are established.
Women in Prison Project, established in 1991, is one of the successful implementing bodies which protect women and their families. The Project conducts public education, manages a training program form former inmates, and coordinates with other organizations as well. The Project aims on helping inmates maintain their communication with their families, monitor the issues and problems of women, and help them to be a productive citizen of the society. The project has accomplished publishing a report about the issues faced by women, distributing a manual that analyzes the results of imprisonment of women and is planning to develop more programs as well ("Women in Prison Project", 2007).
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