JACKSBORO, Tenn. – The women's unit of a jail in a remote corner of Appalachia offers a glimpse into how the tidal wave of opioids and methamphetamines has ravaged rural America.
Many of the female inmates in the Campbell County Jail in Tennessee have long-term addiction problems and have been locked up numerous times for drug-related crimes.
In this jail and countless others, addiction is driving up the rate of incarcerated women, tearing apart families while squeezing communities that lack money, treatment programs and permanent solutions to close what has become a revolving door.
Women in jails are the fastest-growing correctional population in America. Their numbers have increased from more than 13,000 in 1980 to more than 102,000 in 2016, with the biggest jump occurring in smaller counties, according to the federal government.