In the mid 90’s legislation was enacted that imposed minimum sentences for repeat offenders in response to a perceived rash of violent crimes. California was the one that laid the groundwork for this legislation, which provides “Three Strikes and You’re Out”. The intention was for individuals to get sentenced to 25 years to life for if they had previously been convicted of two prior serious felonies. This is not enacted in all states but over half have followed through with using this in their state.
This was originally intended by its proponents to target violent male offenders and keep them behind bars for their repeated violent offenses. Part of the issue that has proceeded is that a majority of the repeat offenders who are being sentenced on their third strike are being sentenced for non-violent offenses. As with much of legislation, no account was taken when it came to designing this three strike model due to the perception of policy makers that men and women’s crimes can be compared. This disregards the gender nature of female criminality and the different family responsibilities of men and women (Banks, 2003).
Women offenders even though they are not usually considered a violent offender and this legislation was not aimed at them, they are still caught by it anyways. Many women are offenders of drugs or property offenses to name a few. They are not usually charged with violent or predatory offenses. “Three Strikes and You’re Out” “also refers to three ways in which women will be hurt by, and forced to pay for, criminal justice reform” (Muraskin, 2012, p.357).
Muraskin (2012) refers to strike one as off the rolls. This first strike comes when the government sacrifices services to women to pay for the growth of the criminal justice system (p.357). Examples of this are building more prisons but limiting the time a women can be on welfare because they are expected to find work and pay for daycare on their own. So in other words the funding is cut to help...