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USA: women's prison populations in 35 states 'worse than men's' study says

In a few states, women’s prison populations have even grown enough to counteract reductions in the men’s population.

Imagine a word in which Michelle Alexander never wrote The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay never produced 13th.

A world in which Barack Obama never made criminal justice reform a part of his second-term agenda, creating the largest clemency project in recent US history.

It would be a world in which bipartisan consensus never coalesced around the idea that America puts too many people behind bars; a world in which celebrities like Jay-Z and John Legend never took on mass incarceration as a cause célèbre; a world in which liberal and conservative think tanks never got together to push for a less punitive criminal justice system.

According to a recent report by the Prison Policy Initiative, many women in the US live in that world now. The report concluded that while incarceration rates have been falling since a peak in 2007, men and women have benefitted at vastly different rates.

According to the report, the total number of men incarcerated in state prisons nationwide fell more than 5% between 2009 and 2015. The number of women in state prisons fell by less than 0.33%.

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