Before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination on the basis of sex in employment, women were generally excluded from the field of prison administration. Those who did work in the prison system were generally confined to clerical jobs, teaching, support positions, or working with adult and juvenile female offenders. In 1969, when women made up 40 percent of the total workforce, only 12 percent of those working in the corrections field were female. A year later, barriers that banned women from working with male prisoners were removed, and females were provided with greater opportunities for employment. Between 1985 and 2002, the number of women correctional officers rose from 13 percent to 22.7 percent.

In the late 19th century, ...

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