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The Stories of Black Women in our Criminal Justice System

When you think of the criminal justice system, you often think of men. Predominantly white men as judges or on juries and a disproportionate amount of black men in docks or in cells. Black women, on the other hand, are almost invisible, both in research and in the cultural mindset. With black women being routinely erased in conversations about the criminal justice system, their stories as law enforcers and prisoners often go unheard. This investigation aims to rectify this issue. I spoke to black women from across the criminal justice system; women serving time in prison, women who had reported crimes and women who worked in prisons.

With the silence and stigma that surrounds black women entangled in the criminal justice system, it was no surprise that stories were hard to come by. The more sobering realisation was that in certain areas, no one was even bothering to collect data about us – but what I did find is presented to you here.