Three ways to reduce the number of women in prison in the Americas

PRI: In July 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights presented its first-ever report detailing the scale and situation of women deprived of liberty in the Americas. In this blog post, Coletta Youngers considers its findings and their importance for efforts to reduce women’s incarceration across the region. This article was originally published by WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America) on 28 July 2023.

Years in the making, the ground-breaking report on Women Deprived of Liberty in the Americas was launched by the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on 20 July 2023.

Even as the research for the report was underway, women’s incarceration in the region continued to rise. Data provided by the World Female Imprisonment List shows that excluding the United States, an estimated 95,000 women are behind bars in the Americas today, compared to about 38,000 in the year 2000, an increase of more than 150% in little over two decades.

Behind these statistics are the tragic stories of the women who are living in these prisons, in deplorable conditions, while neglected and abused, and isolated from their families.

Read full post: Three ways to reduce the number of women in prison in the Americas

Photo by Denis Oliveira on Unsplash

9 October, 2023
Type of Update:
Alternatives to Criminalisation
Courts Systems
Fees and Fines
Human Rights
Petty Offences
Pre-trial Detention
Latin America & the Caribbean
Campaign Partners:
Penal Reform International

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


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