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The ACLU report, Caught in the Net: The Impact of Drug Policies on Women and Families, states:
“The war on drugs now reaches beyond those using or addicted to drugs, targeting individuals unwittingly, unknowingly, or peripherally involved in drug related activity. This widening of the net has had the effect of capturing more women, particularly women in relationships (some of which are abusive) with partners or family members who use or sell drugs, as well as women who turn to the drug trade to supplement their income in order to support their families in the absence of living wage jobs and in the face of cuts to public assistance.”
Take a position. Do you believe that sentencing reforms are needed to reduce the number of women in prison?
First, title your post either “Sentencing reforms are needed to reduce the number of women in prison” or “Sentencing reforms are not needed to reduce the number of women in prison.”
Then, use the information gained in this module and additional resources as needed to make your case. Be sure to build your case with factual resources. Consider the following questions as you make your case:
In what ways have sentencing structures contributed to the increase of women in prison?
What factors contribute to women being impacted by drug policies? Should reforms be made to reduce the impact that these factors have on the sentencing of women?
What is meant by the phrase “equality with a vengeance”? In what ways does this support the need to incarcerate women? In what ways does it point to a need to reform sentencing for women?
In your response to your peers, consider how well they justified their positions, making use of available resources. Consider the following questions in your response posts:
Did they support their position convincingly with appropriate resources?
Which of their points make the most sense to you, even if you made a case for the opposing viewpoint?
American Civil Liberties Union. (March 15, 2005). Caught in the net: The impact of drug policies on women and families. Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/caught-net-impact-drug-policies-women-and-families
I took the stance of sentencing reform is needed to reduce the number of women in prison. “, women are increasingly caught up in the ever-widening net cast by current drug laws such as conspiracy laws and accomplice liability laws that extend criminal liability to the arrested offender’s partners and relatives.” (Siegel, L. J. (2017). Those are a couple of ways we have seen the increase of women in our prison system. Women become victims to the drug laws because of their significant other may be involved in the illegal drug business and the women will help out in risk of being victim of domestic violence so they help out if they don’t want too. This leads them to being arrested under conspiracy.
I do think that there should be a reform when it comes to women being incarcerated because, “Even when they have minimal or no involvement in the drug trade, women are increasingly caught in the ever-widening net cast by current drug laws through provisions such as conspiracy, accomplice liability, and constructive possession, which expand criminal liability to reach partners, relatives, and bystanders.” (Lapidus, L., Luthra, N., Verma, A., Small, D., Allard, P., & Levingston, K. (2005). I think some of these laws need more clarification rather than just being vague and being similar to the RICO Act. Go after each drug dealer as an individual rather than a whole group because if she is involved with drug dealing I am sure that won’t be that hard to prove.
When we talk about “equality with vengeance” I do agree with women being just as capable as men when it comes to doing a crime. However, when both parties are involved with a crime I do believe it is important to know who did more of what and charge based off individuals for the crime rather than sticking both together.
Lapidus, L., Luthra, N., Verma, A., Small, D., Allard, P., & Levingston, K. (2005). Caught in the Net: The Impact of Drug Policies on Women and Families.
Siegel, L. J. (2017). Corrections Today (4th Edition). Cengage Learning US. https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/books/9781337514859
I have chosen the stance that sentencing reforms are needed to reduce the number of women in prison. It is not just because more women are committing mainly serious crimes but because there have been changes to the sentencing structures which have caused the increase of women behind bars. These changes are called mandatory minimum sentencing and are being handed out that have played a part in the increase of women in prison. Low-level crimes such as driving the getaway car, and being present when the a serious crime has been committed by their partner, spouse, friend, or family member. As stated in “Corrections Today”, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, women are caught up in the ever-widening net cast by current drug laws such as conspiracy laws, and accomplice liability laws that extends criminal liability to the arrested offender’s partners and relatives.” (Siegel, L., & Bartollas, C., 2018) It is due to these laws that I have mentioned that do not take into consideration of the reasons these women have participated in such crimes. Some of these reasons are because the women are afraid of any domestic abuse they may suffer if they refuse to participate, depending on the immigration status of the women, they may feel like they need to participate in order for them not to get deported, and the final reason would be that their partner, spouse, or relative may be the only person who is providing for that household and the women get roped into helping with the crime. When it comes to “equality with a vengeance”, it refers to women being handed a harsher sentence then the offender who was the main player in committing the crime. The main crimes that this is aimed at the drug trade. A good example of “equality with a vengeance” would be if a female was arrested with a male who was in the process of transporting a substantial amount drugs and when it comes to sentencing the female gets a harsher sentence and the male who is the main offender gets a lesser sentence.
Siegel, L., & Bartollas, C. (2018). Corrections Today, CENAGAGE Learning Publishing