Female inmate population increasing in Greene County

An alarming number of women are being sent to the Greene County jail, most often for drug offenses. There are so many women in the jail that the county has had to expand its capacity for female inmates.

Rebecca Brown, a mother of three children, said she lost everything when her drug habit forced her to steal. "I want my family, what's left of it, because I don't have very much left," Brown said.

WATCH: Professor talks about increase in female inmates

Brown is among the growing number of women in the jail serving time for thefts, forgeries and drug trafficking.

The increased number of women serving time for drug-related crimes has forced the county to make changes. Maj. Kirk Keller, Greene County Jail Administrator, said just ten years ago the female population of the jail was only 10 or 15 percent.

"Over the last two to four years we are now at 40 plus percent," Keller said. Keller expressed interest in creating a facility that not only houses women, but also offers the treatment they need.

WATCH: Greene County Jail inmate talks about her experience

Treatment programs and the space to house them will take time and money, which are not readily available.

Overcrowded conditions in the current jail have forced the county to release non-violent offenders early, including some women who were sent there for drug offences.

WATCH: Administrator discusses the jail population

Dr. Karen Lahm, Director of Crime and Justice Studies at Wright State University, said those women are being released to the same environment that got them into trouble in the first place. "We've got to change what we are doing," Lahm said.

One of the current inmates, who asked not to be identified, said she has been in and out of jail 20 times. "It's crazy. Pretty sad, actually," the woman said.

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