women and prisons

April 23, 2009 § 2 Comments

i just found this website through no snow here.

women and prisons

Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance makes visible women’s experiences in the criminal justice system. Documenting these stories is integral to this project of resistance. The stories are supported by a collection of resources, such as organizations, reports, essays, and links to a wide range of information on women and prison. The contents of this website are fluid and constantly changing. We expect to add stories, articles and resources on a regular basis. Your feedback and contributions are welcome.

This site serves as a dedicated space for prisoners, those previously incarcerated, activists, students, academics, and everyone who strives for social justice. Through the use of this website, we hope to promote strategies and actions that challenge the system and the ways that it reproduces all forms of discrimination, violence, and social injustice in the treatment of women and their families.

The invisibility of women’s perspectives in discussions of the growing prison industrial complex constitute a serious gap, given that the numbers of women in this system are rising at an alarming rate. Moreover, by making women more visible, we expand the analysis, vision, and strategies being developed to seriously challenge the prison system. The incarceration of women is linked to a multitude of interconnected issues facing poor women, drug-addicted women, women of color, lesbians, and women in prostitution, including interpersonal and state violence, poverty, racism, reproductive rights, homophobia, harassment, lack of quality healthcare, homelessness, and more. Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance aims to make connections among these issues. By drawing attention to the interconnectedness of issues and strategies, we hope to further develop the grounds for coalition and alliance across organizations and movements.

confession: for nearly the past 8 months i have been talking thinking planning but never actually committing to mail box letters to women political prisoners.  why not?  i realize now it was because i did not know how many more stories of pain struggle and resistance i could hold.  while i was living in the states i was really struggling myself with insomnia.  up late at night not so much worrying but not able to let go of all that isolation craziness that i had gathered in a normal day.

do you know what i mean by isolation craziness?  it is the way that no one knows each other and yet we know way too much about each other.  live on top of each other.  and yet dont love each other.  create chaos and disorder with each other and yet just let it all go by because we cant be bothered with the clean up when there is so much to deal with.

and so swirling inside my own deal.  trying to create a life for me and mine.  i kept putting off the letter to the women inside.  kept waiting til my life became more still, more stable, more comfortable.

and yet i kept feeling called to write a letter. or two.  or three.  and send them.  and re-send them.

and now after my couple of days in prison.  after my taste of freedom.  after my life has not become more still stable or comfortable.  but i am more willing to own this life that is mine.  and love it for being.  into being.

i guess i am being called to write a letter.

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§ 2 Responses to women and prisons

  • sokari says:

    Some years ago I read Couldnt keep it to myself edited by Wally Lamb. The book is a collection of stories by women prisoners (Lamb ran a writing workshop in the prison)

  • William says:

    A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP)
    THIS PETITION SEEKS TO ABOLISH ALL PRIVATE PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES, (or any place subject to its jurisdiction)

    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil.

    We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit” to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive. However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America.

    Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three” American Automobile manufacturers, the NPSCTAPP has always felt compelled to highlight the “moral Bottom line” when it comes to corrections and privatization. Although, we remain confounded by the reality that our government has allowed our justice system to be operated by private interests. The NPSCTAPP philosophy has always been “justice” should not be for sale at any price. It is our belief that the inherent and most fundamental responsibility of the criminal justice system should not be shirked, or “jobbed-out.” This is not the same as privatizing the post office or some trash pick up service in the community. There has to be a loss of meaning and purpose when an inmate looks at a guard’s uniform and instead of seeing an emblem that reads State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, he sees one that says: “Atlas Prison Corporation.”

    Let’s assume that the real danger of privatization is not some innate inhumanity on the part of its practitioners but rather the added financial incentives that reward inhumanity. The same logic that motivates companies to operate prisons more efficiently also encourages them to cut corners at the expense of workers, prisoners and the public. Every penny they do not spend on food, medical care or training for guards is a dime they can pocket. What happens when the pennies pocketed are not enough for the shareholders? Who will bailout the private prison industry when they hold the government and the American people hostage with the threat of financial failure…“bankruptcy?” What was unimaginable a month ago merits serious consideration today. State and Federal prison programs originate from government design, and therefore, need to be maintained by the government. It’s time to restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system.

    John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is while the sun is shinning”. Well the sun may not be shinning but, it’s not a bad time to begin repair on a dangerous roof that is certain to fall…. because, “Incarcerating people for profit is, in a word WRONG”

    There is an urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of cynicism, indifference, apathy and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.

    It is our hope that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition. We intend to assemble a collection of one million signatures, which will subsequently be attached to a proposition for consideration. This proposition will be presented to both, the Speaker Of The House Of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi) and the United States Congress.

    Please Help Us. We Need Your Support. Help Us Spread The Word About This Monumental And Courageous Challenge To Create Positive Change. Place The Link To The Petition On Your Website! Pass It On!

    The SINGLE VOICE PETITION and the effort to abolish private “for profit” prisons is the sole intent of NPSCTAPP. Our project does not contain any additional agendas. We have no solutions or suggestions regarding prison reform. However, we are unyielding in our belief that the answers to the many problems which currently plague this nation’s criminal justice system and its penal system in particular, cannot and will not be found within or assisted by the private “for profit” prison business. The private “for profit” prison business has a stranglehold on our criminal justice system. Its vice-like grip continues to choke the possibility of justice, fairness, and responsibility from both state and federal systems.

    These new slave plantations are not the answer!

    For more information please visit: http://www.npsctapp.blogsppot.com/ or email: williamthomas@exconciliation.com

    To sign the petition please visit: http://www.petitiononline.com/gufree2/petition.html

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
    National Community Outreach Facilitator
    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons
    P.O. Box 156423
    San Francisco, California 94115

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