NY Women’s Foundation Points Out Gender Issues that Need Addressing in Rikers’ Reform
With the welcome news that the jail complex on Rikers Island is now headed for eventual closure, there is an opportunity to think more deeply about the people who end up there. The number of women in the American justice system increased by more than 700 percent from 1980 to 2014 – yet women lackvisibility. On any given day 600 women are jailed at Rikers Island, yet they are absent from the larger narrative about incarceration.
From an inherently biased bail process to uniforms designed to fit men’s larger frames, the system fails to consider that when it comes to incarceration, gender matters.
“Women InJustice: Gender and the Pathway to Jail in New York City,” a report from the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and commissioned by The New York Women’s Foundation, looks at the factors leading to the incarceration of women at Rikers. It is a companion piece to the Rikers report from the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and addresses the overuse of jail within a system largely indifferent to how a one-size-fits-all approach has served women so poorly. . .