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Texas Incarcerates More Women Than Any Other U.S. State


Since the early 1990s, Texas has seen a spike in the number of women entering the prison system.

There are over 12,500 women currently in corrections through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Incarceration of women in the Texas criminal justice system increased by over 900 percent from 1980 to 2016. In comparison, the number of males entering the state's system increased by almost 400 percent in the same time period.

Eighty-one percent of women in the Texas correctional system are reported to be mothers. In what ways are Texas families and the economy affected by the increasing population of incarcerated women?

What led to the uptick of women being arrested, sentenced and imprisoned? How do domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health factor into the equation? 

What gender-unique issues do female prisoners experience? What kinds of gender disparities exist in Texas’ criminal justice system, and how could they be remedied? 


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.