Articles on Women, Drug policy, and Incarceration

Insight Crime highlights the challenges to reduce Bolivia Female Prison Population

Based on a report by Kathryn Ledebur (AIN) and Coletta Youngers (WOLA), an Insight Crime article emphasizes the need to promote broader judicial reform efforts in Bolivia to continue progress in reducing the incarceration of women for drug offenses.

Article Highlights the Stories of Incarcerated Women in Costa Rica
An article by the Christian Science Monitor details the life of Sandra, a Costa Rican woman who has been a part of the drug trade since age 14 when she fled home to escape abuse. Sandra has been in and out of prison her entire life. The article cites the project on women, drug policy, and incarceration, and quotes one of the project directors Coletta Youngers.

Project Cited for International Women’s Day
In a blog on women and the war on drugs, the authors discuss the challenges faced by women who are involved in the war on drugs. The article discusses the series of photo essays that portray the stories of women incarcerated in Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and Bolivia and quotes working group member, Coletta Youngers.

Conference on Women and Drug Policy
At an international conference on women and drug policy, working group members presented on advocacy efforts at the UN on the topic of women and drug policy and participated in the making of a short video. Both the presentation and the video are intended to be used as tools that can advance policy reforms on the topic of women and drug policy. Click here to watch the video and click here to review the presentation on advocacy at the UN.

Article on Women Drug Couriers Cites Guide
In an article published by Anfibia, a publication of the University of San Martín in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Guide is cited in a discussion regarding the reasons why women in Latin America become drug couriers and the high rates of incarceration they often face after their arrest.

Insight Crime article highlights the Guide and Innovative Approaches Series
In an article on women, drug policy and incarceration Insight Crime cites the Guide and the Series of Innovative Approaches, in addition to highlighting various programs from the Innovative Approaches Series that policy makers should consider as best practices when confronting the topic of women, drug policy and incarceration.

Argentinian video series on women, drug policy, and incarceration
Working group members Coletta Youngers and Luciana Pol are interviewed by Argentinian press in a video series on women, drug policy, and incarceration in Argentina. Click here to watch the videos.

Video panel on violence and the drug war
In a video panel discussion on violence and the drug war, working group member Lisa Sánchez and international colleagues discuss the role of the drug trade in violence in Latin America and how women fit into the discussion of the drug war and incarceration. Click here to watch the video.

CNN writes article about women, drug policy, and incarceration
The Guide was cited many times in an article written about the raising percentage of women incarcerated for drug offenses across the Americas

Across Asia, we need to give the women incarcerated by the ‘war on drugs’ a voice
Elevating the voices of women harmed by repressive drug policies is key to advocating for reform across Asia, writes Nischa Pieris in openDemocracy.

As women are sent to prison, men continue the drug business
VICE News cites the Guide and explores the gender dimensions of Colombia’s drug markets.

The Guardian: We won’t solve the world’s drug problem by locking up Latin American women
Some say imprisoning people for drug crimes acts as a deterrent, protects society and educates criminals. But for socio-economically excluded women, it doesn’t work like that, explains Equis in a Guardian Op-Ed.

Women are bearing the brunt of our most punitive drug policies
From Colombia to Thailand, drug policy reforms are urgently needed to end the mass incarceration of women for drug offences. Here’s what we can do about it.

El Telegrafo analyzes the situation in Ecuador
The Guayaquil newspaper El Telegrafo uses the guide to explore how drug policies affect women in Ecuador, and how policies can adopt a gender perspective.

In VICE, Dejusticia illustrates how prison affects women in Colombia
Dejusticia tells the story of Angela to explain how incarceration harms women in Colombia.

Separating discourse from reality in Latin America’s drug policy rhetoric
Citing newly released data, Coletta Youngers and Catalina Pérez highlight where reform fails to be matched by changes on the ground.

Women from Oaxaca, Mexico, denounce irregularities in their judicial process
In an analysis in Animal Político, Equis: Justicia para las Mujeres identify cases of arbitrary detention and other issues in processes involving women in southern Mexico.

Argentina’s Pagina12 newspaper interviews Coletta Youngers
In an interview with Pagina12, a major Argentine news outlet, WOLA’s Coletta Youngers outlines the effect of the “war on drugs” on women in the Americas.

Portraits from Prison Tell Stories of Women in the Drug War
In a new analysis, Mary Miller Flowers of the Open Society Foundations highlights the photo essay and the effects of incarceration on women in the Americas.

The impact of drug laws on women in Ecuador
Maria Cristina Meneses Sotomayor analyzes the situation of incarcerated women in Ecuador, and how recent legislation and sentencing adjustments have contributed to their plight.

Semana Magazine: The “War on Drugs” has been primarily a war on poor women and families
Writing for Semana, the leading news magazine in Colombia, working group member Sergio Chaparro (Dejusticia) identifies the ways in which current drug policies target women and other vulnerable populations.

Using employment to promote reintegration curb recidivism
As many as 70 million people in the United States have criminal records which can limit their abilities to secure employment–even if the offenses they were convicted for were non-violent. In a memo for Latin American audiences, Working Group member Adam Schaffer outlines new reforms to promote reintegration of people with criminal records through “Ban the Box” reforms.

Office of the Ombudsperson of Costa Rica promotes second chances for incarcerated women
In an article by the Costa Rican Judicial Observatory, Zhuyem Molina explains a new initiative to create more proportional punishments for women who introduce drugs into prisons, offering them an alternative to long-term imprisonment.

Photo essay and project featured in Truthout
On June 11, the project and photo essay were featured on the independent news website “Truthout”.

Project contributes to media coverage of women and incarceration in Mexico
In an article published by El Daily Post (originally via Animal Político), data and commentary from working group members contribute to a story on women, drug policies and incarceration in Mexico.

Mexican TV station Milenio interviews Corina Giacomello on women, drug policies and incarceration.
In a widely-viewed segment with Carlos Puig of Milenio, Giacomello discussed the project and the issue in Mexico and the region (Spanish only).

Women in the international drug policy debate
Writing for Voices of the Phoenix, working group member Corina Giacomello outlines how inequality, impunity, and gender asymmetries affect women in Latin America.