30% of all female prisoners in the world are in the U.S., according to statistics reported by ABC's Diane Sawyer in an upcoming report on ABC’s 20/20 (February 27, 10pm). On average, 174 women are sent to prison every day. 57% of them have suffered physical or sexual abuse prior to incarceration. 63% were jailed for non-violent crimes; 11.1% are in for murder. Most female prisoners are mothers; 1 in 25 is pregnant when she goes in.
Other statistics about women in US prisons:
- The female population is: 49% white; 22% black; 17% Hispanic
- 73% of women in state prison suffer mental illnesses (from depression to PTSD to schizophrenia)
- 5,361 women are serving life sentences in US prisons
- 59 women are on death row in the U.S.
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