The male inmate is thrown into prolonged intimacy with other men and is forced to assume an aggressive posture and to maintain a constant wariness for his personal safety. Homosexual rape is a common occurrence in male prisons, with attacks generally made on vulnerable new inmates.
In U.S. female prisons, inmate society is generally made up of informal pseudofamilies. Almost all inmates are part of a \"family\" and define predictable and stable structure of social relations-including homo-sexual relations-to which a female inmate can turn for support and uncommon, however, for different ,,families\" to come into conflict. Women are held in smaller prisons with fewer programs and recreational opportunities, and the programs that are offered reflect stereotyped female roles, with emphasis on housekeeping, sewing, clerical, and typing skills. Because female prison populations are growing at a faster pace than are male populations, however, even those programs once available to women inmates are becoming more difficult to enter: and living conditions for women prisoner, both in women\'s prisons and in the women\' 5 wings of men\'s prisons, have grown even more onerous than
conditions for men. A recent development, the co-correctional prison, permits a certain level of male-female mixing and offers improved pro-gram opportunities for women. Overall, however, women prison with more serious health problems than men. Mothers may have the burden of concern about the care of their children while they are in prison.
Given the problems engendered by prison itself, it is not surprising that rehabilitation programs have failed to reduce recidivism in the United States. The number of ex-prisoners who are arrested within three years of their release is estimated at about 60 percent.