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Women in Prison : Abuse and Addiction Cause And Effect Analysis of Female Prisoners

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The women who face or go through abuse and addiction have a deep sorrow within them which cannot be expressed nor kept inside them. Sexual abuse in a young age leads to many types of health complications and the social stigma attached to this is something that the young girls, teenagers or the woman is not able to come out Addiction as well leads to health problems as well as distancing themselves from the family who mostly desert them when their presence is required. Children of the women are the worst affected as they are deprived of maternal care and love, which can lead to them going astray. The abuse is not only outside, it is inside the prison as well. The psychological and physical trauma which the women experience cannot be described. "The Incarceration of Women" and "Women’s Experiences of Abuse as a Risk Factor for Incarceration" are the references which throw light on this matter.


The U.S. prisons are mostly filled with women convicts due to their addiction to drugs and the abuse that they have faced in many forms either at the workplace or at home. The statistics of a survey reveal that the rate of women in jails rose by 800 percent between the years 1978 to 2014.According to the world it is more than 30 percent with the U.S. being in the lead in these statistics (Drug Policy Alliance, p.p 1).Women who run away from their homes in young age to escape torture from their own family, find no employment and are forced to do prostitution to earn a living (Gilfus. Mary E, p.p 3).

Primary Issues Of Women’s Imprisonment:

The abuse of women makes the state torture them with “enforcement violence” by imposing stringent laws, immigration and social rules. Teenage girls and women have been found to have undergone abuse sexually and physically all through their lives and have been a part of domestic violence as well. The African American teenagers are the ones who are the victims of many abuses as they were discriminated on the grounds of racism and did not get any external support by the government or internal support from the family. They were as well given the tag of criminals which induced them to do these activities while the Americans who committed the same crime were sent to rehabilitation and child welfare centres (Gilfus. Mary E, p.p 1-3).The purpose of writing this is to bring forth the reasons as to why the women land up in prisons and the effects it has on her family and the society which lead to serious implications in their life.

Social factors:

Many factors have contributed to women ending up in prisons, however the social aspects have as well been responsible for this to happen. Property related issues, drug peddling and consumption and sexual and physical abuse are all the issues which make the women commit crimes. Penury due to unemployment, makes them commit theft and go into prostitution. Unemployment occurs due to their low levels of education and a dearth of job-oriented training. Lack of intake of nutritious food, unavailability of affordable health care facilities, etc. are reasons for them to be in poor health when they are lodged in prisons for their crimes ("The Incarceration of Women", p.p 463,464).

Psychological consequences:

The psychological effects that bother women when they are victims of sexual abuse are that they go into depression, harbour suicidal tendencies, run away from homes or are lured into prostitution. If the abuse has been from childhood, then this may result in consequences such as mental problems, difficulty in cognitive functions, lack of concentration in school and falling a prey to addictions. Inflicting purposeful injury on oneself is as well seen in most cases. Young girl children and teenagers face the threat of re abuse as they are naïve and do not possess the knowledge about such things. Dearth of family support and protection further alleviates the cause (G. Mary, p.p 2).Women who are into drugs are looked down in society and this holds true for the poor class while the other classes escape due to family and economic support ("The Incarceration of Women",p.p 483).

Factors which affect the family:

Children are the most affected

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