Jacob Kang-Brown is a senior research associate at the Vera Institute of Justice and lives in Brooklyn. He is the lead researcher on the Incarceration Trends project, which tracks the changing use of jail and prison in the United States. (May 2019)
Almost two out of every three women in jail have not been convicted of a crime, and are awaiting resolution of their cases. In many parts of the country, women remain in jail primarily because they are unable to afford bail. For example, in Texas, the number of women jailed pretrial has increased by almost 50 percent since 2011, in large part due to an inability to post bond. A study by the Prison Policy Initiative found that the median income for women who cannot make bond is almost 30 percent lower than that of men who cannot make bond. Bail exacerbates inequality by turning the gender pay gap into a gender jail gap.