In the last 25 years, the number of women and girls caught in the criminal justice system has skyrocketed; many have been swept up in the War on Drugs and subject to increasingly punitive sentencing policies for nonviolent offenders. There are now more than 200,000 women behind bars and more than one million on probation and parole. Many of these women struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, and histories of physical and sexual abuse. Few get the services they need. The toll on women, girls, and their families is devastating.

Every day, in courtrooms, legislatures, and the public square, the ACLU fights to ensure that the criminal justice system treats women and girls fairly, protects the health and safety of women and girls in its custody, and facilitates their successful reentry into their communities.

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