Understanding the Incarceration of Women

Understanding the Incarceration of Women

This brief training is designed for those eager to learn more about women’s intersection with the criminal justice system and how to understand their unique needs.

In this introductory training, trainees will learn about the rapid growth of women in incarcerated settings over the past five decades and the factors that bring many women to prison. Trainees will also learn about experiences of trauma, common behavioral health issues, and how these factors fuel the churn of incarceration, release, and reincarceration for women. Then, trainees will explore pregnancy, birth, and mothering in the context of incarceration and learn about specialized programming being developed to help better meet women’s needs. The training ends with an exploration of what steps community members can take to help women who have experienced incarceration.

At the end of this training, trainees will understand:  

  • The growth of women’s incarceration since 1970
  • Factors that bring women into the criminal justice system
  • Trauma experienced by women prior to incarceration
  • The behavioral health needs of many women who experience incarceration
  • Pregnancy, birth & mothering in the context of incarceration
  • Gender-responsive and trauma-informed programming


Training length: 1 hour

Continuing Education Units (CEUs): This training earns 1 CEU. Attendees who wish to receive CEUs will receive a certificate of completion immediately upon earning an 80% or above on the training post-test. They may use this certificate to verify CEUs earned by submitting it to their licensing board. 

Training type: Video

Training cost: $49.99 ON SALE NOW* $25.99 *Use code IJRD50off at checkout for a limited time. 

Need help or have questions? Contact Amberly Prykhodko at aprykhodko@fsu.edu



Trainer: Stephanie Kennedy, PhD, MSW

Dr. Stephanie Kennedy has nearly a decade of experience conducting social work research with incarcerated women held in federal and state prisons across the Southeastern United States. She has published nearly two dozen articles on the traumatic experiences of incarcerated women, the needs of incarcerated mothers, and the intersection between trauma and behavioral health issues. Dr. Kennedy is also a seasoned teacher and trainer and has taught and trained extensively on the growth of women’s incarceration and their unique needs. 


Trainer: Silvia Obregon, MSW, LSW

Silvia Obregon is a researcher on IJRD’s Ohio team where she conducts clinical assessments with individuals leaving incarceration and returning home. Ms. Obregon has extensive experience working with women in crisis in a variety of settings including prisons, jails, inpatient substance use disorder treatment facilities. She has also worked with mothers involved in the child welfare system, helping them to navigate the dependency court system and work towards healing themselves and their families.


Learn more about the 'Race, Class, and Health disparities in the Criminal Justice System' training series here!