The rate of women in prison in New Jersey is lower than in most other states, but a new report from The Sentencing Project says that the number of women in prison across the country has grown by a huge amount over the last few years.
The report said that in 2021, there were more than 168,000 women in jails, state prisons, and federal prisons. This was to mark the “50-year legacy of mass incarceration in the United States.” In 1980, there were a little more than 26,000 of them.
Amy Fettig, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, said, “The continued overcriminalization of women and girls does nothing to improve public safety and destroys lives, families, and communities without any reason to do so.”
There are more men in prison than women, but since 1980, the rate of growth for women in prison has been twice as high as that for men.
Women’s Incarceration in New Jersey
47 out of every 100,000 women in the country were in prison in 2021. In the Garden State, the rate was 10 out of 100,000.
Kristen Budd, a research analyst for The Sentencing Project, said, “New Jersey is definitely one of the lower states, and this is also true for girls.”
According to the most recent report from the New Jersey Department of Corrections, 72% of the people in prison in the state have mandatory minimum sentences.
DOC says that 73 of the women in prison in New Jersey are there for crimes against other people, like murder, sexual assault, and robbery.
The Sentencing Project has found in the past that New Jersey is one of the states with the most racial differences in prisons.
More than half of the people in New Jersey’s prisons are black, but only 15% of the state’s people are black. Budd also said that black New Jerseyans are nine times more likely to be in prison than white New Jerseyans.