||Women and girls in U.S. custody, including
those held for immigration violations, face violations of their human rights
everyday. These human rights violations include:
- Right to Bodily Integrity
- Female inmates experience sexual and verbal abuse from correctional staff.
- Right to Health
- Women prisoners are provided grossly inadequate health care.
- Right to Economic Security
- While women are paid pennies an hour, they are charged exorbitant prices for family
telephone calls and basic personal hygiene products
Although the majority of incarcerated women are the primary caretakers
for children under18, most prisons are located far from the urban centers where most
female prisoners' children live. Consequently, children of incarcerated women rarely see
WILD has chronicled these and other human rights concerns of
female inmates in the US in a tool designed to link these problems with
international human rights standards. This paper, "Human Rights of Women in
U.S. Custody," is available at a cost of $3 (US). Feel free to call or email us about obtaining a copy.
WILD continues to highlight these abuses as human rights violations.
WILD coordinated the California segment of the U.S. mission of Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy,
the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and
consequences. In collaboration with women prisoner advocates, WILD arranged meetings and
briefings, and compiled information for her investigation and documentation of abuses
against women in custody, which focused on sexual assault, access to health care, and
family unity. We also presented on human rights of women prisoners at the Critical Resistance conference in Berkeley,
California from September 25-27, 1998 and are supporting Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch efforts to
counter these human rights violations.
In the upcoming months, WILD plans to work with prisoner rights groups
across the country to develop a coordinated response to the Special Rapporteur's report,
which will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in April 1999.
If you are interested in participating in such efforts in any way, please contact WILD and continue to watch this site for more