Male Prison Experience vs. Female Prison Experience.
The female prison experience has many similarities to the male prison experience, but just as there are similarities there are several differences too. The main differences are that female prisons are less violent. Less attacks on other prisoners and on guards are experienced compared to men's prisons. Women tend to develop bonds on the inside a solidarity to help through the sentence. In men's prison a rigid hierarchy based on gang connections and on physical strength characterize the relationships there. Also women tend to be more vocal and report abuse more than men. Women tend to internalize stress, which may explain why female inmates engage in self-harming behavior such as cutting, carving and burning; women have more frequent suicide attempts and use medical and mental health services at more than twice the rate of male inmates. Female inmates also form surrogate families while incarcerated. The pattern of women’s offending is very different to men and poses a lower level of risk to the public. Women prisoners are much more likely to be solely responsible for the care of children and the maintenance of a home than male prisoners. Because of this, prison impacts disproportionately harshly on many women prisoners, often resulting in the loss of a home and serious disruption to the lives of their children. The huge difference in size between the male and female prison populations means the specific needs of women prisoners have been overlooked. The small number of women’s prisons creates logistical problems, and women prisoners are likely to be held further from home than men. Women prisoners suffer a more severe range of social exclusion problems than men, particularly high levels of abuse and domestic violence and mental health problems. Prison is known to have more serious psychological implications for women. Self-injury is very common throughout women's prisons. Men on the other hand suffer...
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