Sick and pregnant women are routinely shackled during hospitalization and childbirth if they are inmates of prisons or jails in the USA.
Many women in prisons and jails in the USA are victims of sexual abuse by staff, including male staff touching inmates' breasts and genitals when conducting searches; male staff watching inmates while they are naked; and rape.
Women are the fastest growing and least violent segment of prison and jail populations. 85.1% of female jail inmates are behind bars for nonviolent offenses.
From 1986 (the year mandatory sentencing was enacted) to 1996, the number of women sentenced to state prison for drug crimes increased ten fold (from around 2,370 to 23,700) and has been the main element in the overall increase in the imprisonment of women.
From 1985 to 1996, female drug arrests increased by 95%, while male drug arrests increased by 55.1%.