Doubt that I have seen a better written or more concise article dealing with the significant issues related to the impact of women and children as related to the environment of prison. As with all Wikipedia articles, there are some very good follow-up links to explore the data. I have listed the opening background below but do encourage you to read on because all of this should never be.
In the United States, authorities began housing women in correctional facilities separate from men in the 1870s. The first American female correctional facility with dedicated buildings and staff was the Mount Pleasant Female Prison in Ossining, New York; the facility had some operational dependence on nearby Sing Sing, a men’s prison.
In most of the Western world, female prison guards exclusively guard female prisoners. Until the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act, this was true in the United States. Men usually worked in perimeter posts, such as gate posts, rather than having direct contact with female prisoners. Male employees previously had restricted positions. Both acts integrated the workforce, and after the acts passed male employees gained increasingly direct contact with female prisoners. As of 2007, about 40% of prison guards in American womens’ prisons are men. In some facilities, most of the prison guards are neb, Silja Talvi, author of Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System, argued that in theory gender equality makes sense in all occupations, but in practice having male guards watch over female prisoners is problematic.
At the end of 2001, in the United States 93,031 women were incarcerated in federal and state prisons, making up 6.6% of the total incarcerated population. Within the US, the rate of female incarceration increased fivefold in a two decade span ending in 2001; the increase occurred because of increased prosecutions and convictions of offenses related to recreational drugs, increases in the severities of offenses, and a lack of community sanctions and treatment for women who violate drug laws.