Working Towards a Better Tomorrow
At A Beautiful HEART Ministries (ABHM) our work is grounded by four pillars: economic advancement, education, empowerment and wellness. Our four pillars are the bedrock of the work we do in any area, and is imbued throughout our mission, which is to improve the quality of life for formerly incarcerated women and girls by providing resources, educational tools, trauma informed care, spiritual empowerment, entrepreneurship, safe-housing, workshops and seminars to facilitate change, restore healing and reduce recidivism.
The United States of America has maintained the highest incarceration rate in the world. Notable, the United States of America has maintained the HIGHEST FEMALE incarceration rate in the world. According to Prison Policy Initiative, "Of the girls confined in youth facilities, nearly 10% are held for status offenses, such as running away, truancy, and incorrigibility." Between 1980 and 2019, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700%.
The typical American is often surprised to discover that many of the women and girls, who are warehoused in prisons, are first-time non-violent offenders serving draconian sentences for a non-violent crime, and approximately 80% of these women and girls suffered from some form of trauma which led to their incarceration.
Consequently, even though the United States of America only consists of 5% of the world's population, it still leads the world with the largest prison population. As a result, mass incarceration is a major epidemic, with crushing consequences. Women and girls are being warehoused in prison, causing thousands of families to be destroyed, and also costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year. It is a sobering situation considering that when these women are released from prison, they do not received any form of rehabilitation to address the underlying issues that led to their offense. The statistics are well known, but the true faces of women and girls imprisoned, and the injustice they encounter in the U.S judicial system are less publicized.
America is at a tipping point! The crisis of over criminalization and excessive reliance on punitive enforcement feed the problem of mass incarceration. In a time of deep political and ideological divides, the fight for criminal justice reform is more urgent than ever. As a nation, we face a choice. We can continue to spend our shrinking tax dollars on the pointless and costly incarceration of females guilty of petty crimes, or we can seek other solutions to the problems. We can focus on strategies that directly address these problems instead of the use of expensive and counter-productive penal policies. In so doing, we could free up the public purse for more effective and preventative measures.