According to the federal Bureau of Justice
Statistics, Nevada's female inmate population is climbing at a much
higher rate than the national average.
The number of women behind bars in Nevada soared 16-point-three
percent over the year ending June 30th, 2004 compared with the
national average of four percent. It's the last year for which
national statistics are available.
Overall, the state's inmate population climbed eight-point-four
percent compared with the national average of one-point-eight
State officials say the state's three female institutions are
near capacity. There were 915 female prisoners and ten-thousand-625
male inmates as of November first.
Prisons officials and analysts attribute the increase to tougher
sentencing laws and an increase in violent crime among women.
Forty-two percent of Nevada's female inmates are serving time
for sex or violent crimes.