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Women's Prison

October 9, 2014

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Profile America — Thursday, October 9th. On this date in 1873, a sturdy and somber-looking building opened its doors to admit 17 long-term residents. Then it promptly closed and locked those doors. With the opening of the Indiana Reformatory Institution for Women and Girls in Indianapolis, the country had its first maximum-security penitentiary built for and managed by women. Formerly, female convicts were imprisoned in male facilities where they suffered abuse from male guards and inmates. The reformatory remains locked for business to this day, now named the Indiana Women's Prison. It houses around 430 of the approximately 113,000 women in federal and state prisons. Overall, there are 1.3 million prisoners in state facilities, and about 217,000 in federal prisons. Profile America is in its17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kane's Famous First Facts, 2823
Indiana Reformatory Institution for Women and Girls history
Annual Survey of Jails
Statistics on Women Offenders
Prison Population p. 10

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: October 01, 2014