Younger, more violent women behind bars

Sunday Star Times 15 January 2012
The number of women serving time in New Zealand prisons has jumped by almost one-third in three years and prison staff say the inmates are younger and more violent. A leading researcher partly blames the media, as young girls grow up trying to mimic the violent “kick-ass” women celebrated in video games and on television. Figures released to the Sunday Star-Times show that from 2009 to 2011 the number of female prisoners increased by 27 per cent, from 437 to 555. Of the 19 prisons in New Zealand, three in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are specifically for women. The prisons have a security classification system and three years ago, for the first time, a maximum security category was introduced. Last year the average female prisoner was serving a three-year sentence for an offence involving violence, drugs, antisocial behaviour, alcohol, dishonesty or their driver’s licence. Around 16 per cent claimed to have gang affiliations, almost two-thirds identified themselves as Maori, 31.5 per cent European, 4.8 per cent Pacific and 3.8 per cent Asian.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6258433/Younger-more-violent-women-behind-bars