The U.S. has the largest prison population of any nation and in the past three decades women have become the fastest growing segment of prisoners, double the rate of men. Between 1980 and 2006 the population of women in prison has jumped 800%, due primarily to the government’s war on drugs.
The prison system is scrambling to house this influx of incarcerated women. In 2011 the Dayton Correctional Institution became the third women’s prison in Ohio, when it was changed from a 500-bed male facility to a women’s prison currently housing over 900 inmates.
In the this hour you’ll hear a collection of intimate, first-hand accounts from incarcerated women as they talk to each other about the unique struggles female inmates face, as Women’s Voices from the Dayton Correctional Institution takes you inside the prison.
Produced and mixed by former WYSO managing editor Lewis Wallace and Community Voices producer Renee Wilde, with volunteer support from Community Voices graduate Dr. Venita Kelley, editorial oversight from general manager Neenah Ellis and production and design help from webmaster Juliet Fromholt. Students who participated in WYSO's class at the prison were Shannon Evans, Alisha Federici, LaShae Landry, Diana Linz, Tyra Patterson, Or'Zaria Slaton, Nikkia Sullivan, Lana Williams, Melody Williams and Aimee Wissman.