Approximately 70 percent of female prisoners are mothers of minor children. Among these mothers, one-third were living alone with their children at the time of their arrest, resulting in a disruption in their children's living arrangements.

In the United States, more than 250,000 minor children have mothers who are either in prison or jail. Although women make up a small percentage of the total prison population (6.9 percent in the United States; 4.9 percent in Europe), rates of women prisoners have increased dramatically in recent years. In the United States, the percentage of incarcerated women has increased by more than 800 percent over the past 30 years, with similar increases found in Europe (e.g., England and Wales report a 200 percent increase over the ...

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