Free 28 Day Holiday Challenge

Free 28 Day Holiday Challenge
Slow down this holiday season- click on the snow to find out more about this challenge

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

P is for Prison

 The letter is P... and I chose the word Prison.... I want to talk about a touchy subject... about The women inmate population... and How many times I believe... the system is flawed...




According to the Boston Globe,"nearly 265 of the nearly 2000 men and women crowding Massachusetts prisons for drug crimes are first-time offenders... Worse, nearly three out of four drug traffickers who do get charged in major cases, but agree to forfeit substantial drug money to prosecutors, bargain their way out of the long sentences... the result: those with no money or information to trade face the hard mandatory sentences."


The Today show had a women named Susan Lefevre on.. her name now is Maria S.Walsh..
She has a book about how she escaped prison... with help from her grandfather. ( she was driving a friend to a pizzeria.. when it turned out he was buying drugs... and she was arrested at 19 )... The book is entitled A tale of two lives





an exerpt

Chapter 1
Saginaw, Michigan, May 2004
The sun’s first dim rays light up the fluorescent pink walls — the eye-popping color I chose to have them painted when I was 16.
I am nearly 50 now. My husband, Alan, is sound asleep beside me, my children are safe back home in California, and my parents are in their bedroom downstairs. We are visiting my parents in what I know will be the last time I see my mother. I am certain she will die today.
The last 12 hours have been hectic and harried. My sister’s phone call, announcing that the priest has just given Mom last rites, set in motion a chain of events I seem to have walked through like a zombie. Somehow, Alan arranged the last-minute tickets. Somehow, I packed a bag and attended to the myriad details of dispatching the kids to friends’ houses, leaving instructions for the housecleaner, changing the message on the answering machine, and firing up the alarm system.
But all I could think of during the frantic drive to the San Diego airport was that if we missed the plane, I would never see my mother alive again. At the terminal, I handed my driver’s license to the TSA screener and held my breath. He checked the name — Marie Walsh — looked at the picture, looked back up at me, then handed me the license. I exhaled a sigh of relief. I wondered how many more years I would have to worry whenever I handed someone my ID. A moment later Alan and I were waved through the metal detector and we ran to our gate.


This story moves me... I believe in justice.. and I believe paying your dues... but some of these women.. pay more than there dues... they pay with their souls...

I learned by reading about Women and prison on the amnesty international site.. that," the imbalance of pwer between inmates and guards involves the use of direct physical force and indirect force based on the prisoners' total dependency on officers for basic necessities and the guards' ability to withhold privileges. Some women are coerced into sex for favors such as extra food or personal hygiene products, or to avoid punishment."

It also stated :the following :
* Powerlessness and Humiliation:
 There are 148,200 women in state and federal prisons.In federal women's correctional facilities, 70% of guards are male. Records show correctional officials have subjected female imates to rape, other sexual assault, sexual extortion and groping during body searches. Male correctional officials watch women undressing, in the shower or the toilet. If they tell there is often retaliation.. ( I am not stating this is all the guards... just stating the information I read)

* Retaliation and Fear: In many states guards have access to and are encouraged to review the inmates' personal history files ( this includes record of complaints against themselves or other prison authorities) Guards theaten the prisoner's children and visitation rights as a mean of silencing the women. Guards issue rule infraction tickets, which extend the woman's stay in prison if she speaks out.

* Impunity: Ineffective formal procedures, legislation and reporting capacity with US jails.. and prisons account for much of the ongoing sexual abuse of women.

The amnesty international site also touched upon the neglect... these women face
* failure to refer seriously ill inmates for treatment
*charges for medical attention
*Lack of qualified personnel and resources and use of non-medical staff
*Inadequate reproductive health care... mamograms and Pap smears..
*Lack of treatment for substance abuse
* lack of appropriate mental health services
* Pregnant mother's are shackled during pregnancy
*








The fastest growing segment of the prison population is not who you’d expect. A new report commissioned by the institute on women and criminal justice shows the numbers have significantly increased over the years, surpassing the male prison population growth in all states. In California, there are now over 11,000 women serving time in prison.
KPSP Local 2 got an inside look at the California Institution For Women in Corona, which until 1987, was the only prison in the State for female felons. Built in the 1950s, the green grass, flowers and red brick buildings stand in contrast to the prison gates.
There are now multiple facilities across the state, and CIW is home to around 2,300 women.
“It saved my life,” said Cynthia Wilson describing the prison, where she’s lived for the past 19 years. “It’s strange, kinda ironic that I needed a life sentence.”
Wilson is now 38-years-old, and admits she’s come a long way since when she arrived.


I read a book by Wally Lamb a few years back... called Couldn't keep it to myself


Any book that can give voice to the voiceless should be celebrated. No one feels this more strongly than Wally Lamb, editor of Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of stories by 11 women imprisoned in the York Correctional Institution in Connecticut. Teacher and novelist Lamb was invited to head a writing workshop at York Correctional Institution in 1999. His somewhat reluctant acceptance soon turned into steadfast advocacy once the women in his charge began to tell their stories. Lamb maintains that there are things we need to know about prison and prisoners: "There are misconceptions to be abandoned, biases to be dropped." However, as heartfelt as his appeal is, nothing speaks more convincingly in this book than the stories themselves.

Those collected here are disturbing and horrific. They reveal, often in graphic detail, the worst kind of abuse: incest, drug addiction, spousal violence, parental neglect, or incompetence. They're also testimony to what social workers and health care professionals have confirmed for years--that those who populate our prisons are often victims first themselves. Thus, the telling of these stories serves as a form of therapy. They are also sad accounts of the brutalities many suffer, yet few discuss: "One day I figured out a dying little girl lived inside of me, so I threw her a lifeline in the form of paper and pen." Considering the degradation the contributors have experienced both in and outside prison, the courage, candor, and honesty with which they speak truly make these stories, as difficult as they are to read, "victories against voicelessness--miracles in print." --Silvana Tropea


 The next book I read was called I'll Fly Away.. further testimonies from the women of york prison



 

From Publishers Weekly


Lamb made sure that prison and state officials were notified about the book deal, hoping they would embrace this unlikely success story. But he didn't hear a word, until a few days before the books reached the stores.

Instead of embracing the women for their accomplishment, the state of Connecticut decided to go after them with a vengeance.

The attorney general invoked a vaguely worded law that allows the state to charge inmates for their own incarceration. And the state sued the women, not for the $5,600 that they had made on the book deal, but for $117 a day, for every day they would spend in prison.

One inmate had a lien placed against her assets for $913,000. Another for $473,000. And to make things worse, uniformed sheriff’s deputies served the papers.

“My first reaction when I see this guy with the badge is somebody's coming to take me back to jail,” says Cullen. “My bill was, I believe, $139,000.”



 I know a lot of people... don't care about people in prison... but I have read both of Wally Lamb's book... and always wanted to tell people about it... I hope you will pick on of them up in your library... and just
hear their side...



 * information came from.... the books.. named..and the following links
www.womenandprison.org
and www.wpaonline.org
and Amnesty international

8 comments:

Marjorie said...

I have known one male who went to prison and one female. I can tell you that the different accounts of the experiences made me so angry. I am convinced that women are treated worse in prison than men. Thank you for bringing this important subject to light.

Hart Johnson said...

Wow. I am a social scientist by training, so I know a lot of these stats about people who are imprisoned--either victimized or mentally ill. But the idea of their stories is very moving. I happen to be reading a Wally Lamb novel at the moment--He seems very capable of choosing the stories and helping the women bring them to a sparkle. I'm glad they have an articulate and visible advocate.

Ella said...

I am so glad you chose to put it out there! People need to be more aware; I bet mentally illness comes into this dynamic a lot. So sad how we treat the human race~ Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Gregory said...

i didn't even think about this. thank you for bringing it to light.

Michelle

alisonamazed said...

Hi Wasabi Mommy
Difficult topic. Well done for tackling it! My dad was an advocate for prisoners - especially those who were incarcerated for drug possession.
Alison
P.S. Love Wasabi!

Talei said...

Wow, definitely a topic we rarely read about. Thank you! ;-)

TheyCallMeVarmit said...

Very informative post. All the jailbirds in my family seem to have no complaints, but I noticed with the juvenile system it was a lot of issue of male guards molesting teen female prisoners. But on the flipside, they'd beat the boys.

anyhow, this is one of those great "make you think" posts.

Arlee Bird said...

This post was epic and of an immense importance. There is a huge problem in regard to the so-call justice system and the lack of any real correction or rehabilitation. Drug possession and other questionable crimes bog things down and should not even be part of the penal system.

There needs to be some serious evaluation and restructuring of the system, but the greatest problem is the prisons are big business and organizations like the prison guard unions are blocking any real progress in the area.

Excellent post!


Hope you join us in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post on Monday May 2nd.
Lee

Fountain of Health

Fountain of Health
Welcome

Trying to lose weight and gain more energy?

how far have you come to visit?

My Blog List

parent/ blogs

vegan blogs

A.D.H.D.

plant based blogs

Blog Archive

Labels

letters of love from china (5) Are you in a book club? (3) Higland NY (3) andersruff.etsy.com (3) death (3) elf on the shelf (3) mothers day (3) muffin tin monday (3) photography (3) tablescape (3) 15 top books (2) Ashley (2) Letter S is the A to Z challenge (2) adoption (2) ashley sisk (2) books (2) caffeine (2) cinco de mayo (2) del.icio.us (2) depression (2) easter (2) eggs (2) emotions (2) facebook (2) food (2) friends (2) gaining weight (2) gingerbread decorating party (2) help (2) journaling (2) kindergarten (2) lavender ice cream (2) male end of the year gifts (2) parties (2) pink and green thursday (2) questions (2) scavenger hunt (2) summer wedding (2) weight watchers (2) #2 (1) 10 best things about my christmas (1) 1st in a series from A-z. (1) 20 minute meals (1) 200 follower (1) 2011 best blogs (1) 5 minutes peace (1) 5 question friday from fivecookedhalos (1) 5 top books (1) 504 main (1) ADHD (1) ARuba (1) Alicia Quintana (1) Alzheimers (1) Asparagus (1) Benmarl winery (1) Between YOU and ME (1) Chuang Yen Monastery (1) DO you have an elf on your shelf? (1) Dear Mrs. LaRue (1) Demetia (1) E.L.F make up (1) Escoffier (1) Farm market food (1) Father (1) Fawn (1) Fine arts (1) Forgiveness (1) Giveaway MAY (1) Happy for no reason (1) Highlandcafe (1) Hoboken (1) Jan (1) Jones farm (1) Leave me a comment please (1) March (1) Mark Teague (1) May 1st (1) Millbrok (1) Miss. Dutchess county Pageant (1) Mommy's piggy tales (1) NAPA valley (1) NJ (1) Nitendo wii giveaway (1) Oblong Millerton NY (1) Patrick's day clues and fun (1) Pier 1... and tasting party (1) Post office in pre-k (1) Proust (1) Pysanky (1) Salmon (1) St. pat's lunch (1) Steve Ciancio Auto body (1) Umami (1) Vassar Collge (1) Victoria Martorano (1) WIN (1) Westpoint Ny (1) Xenium (1) Y is for (1) You'll be in my heart (1) Yummee cupcake cafe (1) Zinfindel (1) a jornal for jordan (1) adhdmomma (1) adventures in bento making (1) and name of Lisa (1) ann landers (1) apiphobia (1) artistic (1) aspargaus primavera (1) authors (1) autism (1) back tatoo (1) backyard flock (1) bake me a wish (1) barnes and noble (1) beach (1) bed and breakfast (1) bento boxes (1) bird (1) bisphenol-A free cans (1) black pumpkin (1) blog (1) blog hop (1) blog party (1) bloom into fashion (1) book club holilday party (1) book fair (1) book review (1) bree tanner (1) bride and groom corpse (1) bridesmaids the movie girls not out night (1) bulletin board (1) bumble bee (1) cake boss (1) calm (1) camera (1) candy apples (1) canfield casino in congress park (1) carmel (1) carnival (1) cell phone use (1) chair (1) change your life (1) charlie smith (1) charming place (1) cheating (1) cheesecake (1) chicken coop (1) childhood (1) children's books (1) children's miracle network (1) chipmunks... (1) chocolate rabbits. (1) christmas tree farm (1) clean eating (1) coffe on the patio (1) conflicts with children who have adhd (1) confrontation (1) cookie swap (1) cookies (1) corsage t (1) country christmas (1) coupon parties (1) cousins (1) coyotes (1) creative cakes (1) creative charactes (1) crepes (1) cupcakes (1) dad (1) dali lama (1) dating (1) day 11 (1) day 12 (1) day 4 (1) day 8 (1) depressed. (1) diamonds (1) dip (1) dip and Quesedillas with mango sauce. (1) diryt dozen movies... alex cavanaugh (1) dogs (1) dopamine (1) dr.seuss (1) dragons (1) dressmaker (1) earrings (1) earth day (1) earth day books (1) edible flowers (1) egg dye (1) egg whites (1) elmo (1) enchantresses3 (1) erdajt (1) failure (1) fairies (1) fall and halloween literature... pinkoween for susan komen foundation (1) family (1) fashion (1) father's day (1) fathers day (1) feast of clams.. breakfast mornings (1) featured blogger (1) feed me book friday (1) finding healing (1) firefly lane (1) fireproof (1) first time i feel like this at fall (1) fiveminutesformom.com (1) flip flops (1) flying fishbone resteraunt (1) folding laundry (1) friday follow (1) friendships (1) frog umbrella (1) frogs (1) fun (1) furture (1) games for holiday parties (1) gerald mcdermott (1) gerber days (1) get up early (1) gift (1) gift giving to hostess (1) giveaway contest (1) gnome costume (1) google (1) grab the button (1) hagan das (1) happiness project (1) harvest salad. (1) heartsmakefamilies.com (1) helicopter moms (1) herb (1) holding a boy back... retention (1) holiday fun with kids (1) honey bees (1) horton (1) household things (1) hudson valley (1) hummingbird feeder (1) insect lore (1) island getaway (1) italian bees (1) j is for jewerly (1) jenny mcCarthy (1) jill murphy (1) jornaling (1) kat von d (1) kelle hampton (1) kellys korner (1) kids food (1) ladybug unit (1) last letter day 14 (1) lava cake (1) lavender wants (1) leaves (1) lego party for a 5 year old. (1) lemonade stand (1) letter to son (1) letterboxing with kids (1) letters (1) life expectancy Dean Koontz (1) life is a special occasion (1) life renewal (1) locurto (1) lost (1) lost phone (1) love Dare (1) lunch ideas (1) m and m (1) making the rounds with Oscar (1) mama kats losin it (1) martha stewart (1) mascarpone cheese (1) matzo ball soup... (1) meme (1) memorial day flowers (1) merritt books store (1) metropolitan museum of art (1) miche purse (1) midday escapades (1) milk carton houses (1) miniature doll house items sold in sets (1) moca (1) mojito cake (1) mojitos (1) mom's tea for cheers and tears (1) mother day tea (1) mother dealing with adhd (1) mother poetry (1) mothers (1) muffin tin lunch (1) my first vlog (1) my son loved them (1) nap porch (1) nectar (1) negative thinking (1) nests (1) neurofibromatosis (1) newburgh mother (1) nicholas sparks (1) nursing home (1) ocean grove (1) ode to my son (1) olives (1) one2try (1) onion domes (1) ontario (1) open house (1) options (1) organize and then treat yourself (1) oscar the grouch project (1) owl (1) paint (1) part ideas (1) party favor (1) patricia pollaco (1) pennies for peace (1) perfection (1) perfection by julie metz (1) phil collins (1) pie (1) piggy Tales number 3 (1) pigmania (1) pigs (1) pinkprep (1) pirate party (1) pollen (1) pop-top craft (1) popcorn (1) portion control (1) pre-k (1) pros and cons (1) puddle jumper (1) pumpkins (1) putting your son on the school bus for the first time. (1) ramblings and photos (1) random dozen (1) read it forward (1) readin (1) recharge (1) reflections new year (1) rock climber (1) room by emma donoghue (1) root beer (1) santa cookies (1) santa shaped snack (1) sarah's key (1) scavenenger hunt (1) seeds (1) sharon CT (1) shrimp omelette (1) sinfully delicious (1) sits day (1) smmothie (1) sneaky chef (1) snowdays (1) snowman tablescape (1) songs of three islands (1) sounds (1) split rail christmas tree farm (1) st. LUcia (1) starbucks recycle boxes (1) stella and dot (1) steven robert ciancio (1) stones into schools (1) storm trooper (1) strawberry themed party (1) stroke of insight (1) summers end (1) sunflowers (1) surprise snowballs (1) swim suit (1) tablescape of houses (1) talent (1) target (1) tarzan (1) taste of home (1) tate buds (1) tatoo (1) taxi (1) teacher appreciation (1) team edward (1) teengager (1) teeth (1) thansgiving table (1) the birth (1) the help (1) thirsty thursday (1) three cups of tea (1) tiger woods (1) tiny treasures buisness (1) tomie de paola (1) tooth fairy (1) top 11 blogs with cooking (1) tradtions (1) trendy tree house photo contest (1) turtles (1) twee poppets (1) tween (1) twilight (1) usborne children's art book (1) van gogh (1) vera bradley (1) violin (1) vitamin K (1) vivian photograhy (1) void of color (1) warwick (1) wasabi mommy (1) water (1) we read some great books at lunch about this (1) webkinz (1) wedding fall (1) weight loss (1) weight watcher recipe for chervil (1) weight watcher recipes (1) whimsical (1) win it (1) wineries (1) wineries in NY (1) winter chowder (1) wizard of oz (1) wreath making party (1) writers workship (1) writing letters to your children (1) yellow (1) you tube (1) young love (1) your town tuesday (1)

Pages