Incarcerated Women and Girls, 1980-2016

The Sentencing Project LogoThis fact sheet from The Sentencing Project examines trends in female incarceration from 1980 to 2016. Key findings include that while the imprisonment rate for African American women was twice that of white women in 2016, this disparity represents a sharp decline from 2000 when black women were six times as likely to be imprisoned. Since then, black women’s imprisonment rate has decreased by 53 percent while white women’s rate has increased by 44 percent. Among youth confined in the juvenile justice system, 15 percent are girls. As with boys, the number of incarcerated girls has declined considerably, dropping by half since 2001. Similarly to adults, girls of color are much more likely to be incarcerated than white girls.