It's fucked up, and all of these deserve outrage, scrutiny, correction, the works, and kudos to the ACLU for putting this together, but it's worth talking a little bit more about the second item there, the inadequate drug treatment for women. It's true that treatment programs are pretty skimpy in general, and hard to come across for men or women, but women have suffered special discrimination in this regard. It wasn't until very late in the day—the 1970s, if I recall—that medical literature even began addressing the issue of drug addiction among women. And no, it's not the same thing: More often than not, drug use among women is related either to spousal abuse, or some situation involving caring for children, or whatnot, and the more effective treatment programs try to address this wide-ranging and exceedingly complex nexus of issues. But most programs don't.
Many women are ensnared in drug investigations despite peripheral involvement, sometimes solely because they failed to turn in their partners to police. Sentencing laws fail to consider factors such as physical abuse or economic dependence that may draw women into drug abuse or deter them from notifying authorities of a partner's drug activity. Treatment programs, to the extent they exist, often are tailored for men and prove relatively ineffective for women. Black and Hispanic women are imprisoned for drug offenses at higher rates than white women even though their rates of illegal drug use are comparable. Factors include prosecutors' decisions, policing tactics and selective testing of pregnant minority women for drug use. Most imprisoned women, and relatively few imprisoned men, leave behind children for whom they were the sole primary caretaker. The separation can be shattering for mothers, who may lose parental rights, and for children, thousands of whom are placed in foster care at state expense.