Shortly after 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2005, prisoner No. 55170-054 – better known as Martha Stewart – is due to be released from a prison in Alderson, West Virginia. Stewart was convicted in 2004 of lying to U.S. government investigators about a personal stock sale she made in 2001. She served a five-month prison sentence and will spend the next five months under house arrest wearing an electronic ankle bracelet. Then it’s two years of probation.
In 2003, 8.5 percent of prisoners in the United States were women. The total prison population that year was 2,078,570, so that means there were about 176,000 female inmates.
In 1999, 2,481,808 women were prosecuted for crimes in the United States, out of a total of 14,203,822. That’s about 17 percent.