Advocates of judicial reform said on December 11 that despite leaders’ vows to reduce the number of women prisoners with misdemeanor crimes, the number of detainees worldwide has increased by 17% in 10 years.
According to an organization called Penal Reform International, there are 741,000 female prisoners worldwide, 80% of whom suffer from mental illness, which is further aggravated by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Olivia Rop, the head of the organization, said: “The number of female prisoners in custody has increased at an alarming rate. It is shocking that more and more women’s lives have been destroyed by their imprisonment. She called for bolder action to reduce the number of women prisoners.
The United Nations said that this problem is due to the punishment of misdemeanor or non-violent criminal activities. These criminal activities are often related to poverty, adultery and strict anti-drug policies. In 2010, the United Nations adopted the promotion of off-committed punishment of crime.
The organization said that the number of female prisoners in custody worldwide is increasing, with the exception of Europe. The number of female prisoners in Asia, Africa and Central and South America increased by 50%, 24% and 19%, respectively.
35% of female prisoners are imprisoned for drug problems. UN leaders and human rights organizations say that many countries’ prisons have interrupted family visits due to the epidemic, which exacerbates the mental health problems of female prisoners.