War on the Family: Mothers in Prison and the Families They Leave Behind
When most people think of prisoners, they think of men. Yet women are the fastest growing prison population. Perhaps more surprising, some 75% of women behind bars are mothers. Each year these mothers leave behind 350,000 children under the age of 18. More than half of mothers in state prisons never see their children during their incarceration. In The War on the Family, noted social rights activist Renny Golden shows that as a direct result of President Ronald Reagan's administration's War On Drugs campaign, the rates of women in prison have skyrocketed, leading to the unintended destruction of the family. Through her interviews inside prisons across the country, Golden identifies the risks and needs of these imprisoned mothers and their children, the obstacles communities face in successfully helping these families, and the implications current judicial policies--like mandatory sentencing and lack of drug treatment programs--pose for women, children, families, and the communities in which we live.
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