Tag » women in prison
California has officially banned the forced sterilization of female inmates, following the signing of SB 1135, Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Thursday. The law will take effect on Jan. 1, a fact which invokes shock that forced sterilization wasn’t already prohibited, and that prisoners will technically have to wait three months for the guarantee of basic reproductive freedoms.  The legislation was introduced following a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting that inmates were sterilized at two California prisons as recently as 2010. Read More
In August of 2006, a group of African American lesbian women went out for a night on the town in NYC's Greenwich Village area, a well-known historical landmark and haven for the LGBTQ community... or so these women thought. Proud spirits quickly vanished after an instance of homophobic street harassment was initiated by an older man. The threats quickly escalated, resulting in the attempted strangling of two women and then the stabbing of the perpetrator. Although this attack was a glaring moment of self-defense, the media and the law were quick to disagree. Read More
After watching both season 1 and 2 of Orange is the New Black I couldn’t help but compare the events of the show and the dynamic between the female prisoners with my experience attending an all-girls school for 7 years. Read More
“Beginning Monday, 23 September, I am going on hunger strike. This is an extreme method, but I am convinced that it is my only way out of my current situation.” These are the words of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, art activist and member of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot. 14 months ago, she, along with two other members of the group, were arrested under charges of “hooliganism” following a guerrilla performance in a cathedral. After serving the first year of her two-year sentence, Tolokonnikova has spoken out about the extreme conditions under which she has been living. Read More
Trigger Warning: This post mentions sexual abuse within the prison system. Spoiler Alert! If you're not caught up with the whole season, avert your eyes! It’s safe to say that Netflix's Orange is The New Black has taken over my life. It’s okay; the first step is always admitting you have a problem, and I’m an OITNB addict. I’m at the point of wanting to read the real Piper Chapman’s (who’s actually Piper Kerman IRL) actual memoir, Orange is The New Black: My Year In A Women’s Prison, and possibly starting a book club amongst my friends. Read More
Apparently ladies are not allowed to craft in the big house. After zipping through Orange is the New Black this shouldn't be a shock, but we were still bemused when this letter sauntered into our mailbox today. Our June/July 2013 issue (that’s the 20th anniversary special) was banned in the State of Missouri Department of Corrections for the article "Return of the Mac(ramé )." Is it because the administration is trying to keep a strong DIY ethic down? No, it’s because we demonstrated “how to tie knots.” Oops. Read More
  “Women in prison? That’s so retro,” said Papa Garis after I explained my latest work assignment. It was Sunday afternoon, and I had emerged from my room after five hours of chain-smoking and watching the new Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. Yes, for work. I am living the American dream.  He’s right, though. The concept is hardly original. In fact women-in-prison movies are practically their own genre. So in honor of the new/old trend, I've done a little research (take that at face value) and dug up some of the "gems. Read More
Piper Chapman, three months shy of her incarceration in federal prison, lounges on the beach with her fiancé Larry, gabbing casually about her jailtime to-do list. “I’m going to read everything on my Amazon wishlist. And maybe even learn a craft, you know? I could be crafty.” Oh, girl. You know that the protagonist of Netflix's new original series, Orange is the New Black, is about to have a rude awakening.  And don’t worry. In this dark dramedy - based on the real life experiences of Piper Kerman and created by Jenji Kohan - shit gets real real quick. Read More
  There is some serious sketchiness up in the prison system. Shocking, I know. At least 148 women were sterilized from 2006 to 2010, with a probable 100 more cases dating back to the 90s in the California Institution for Women and Valley State Prison for Women. And in many cases, these procedures were done without full consent, explanation, or extreme coercion. Here’s the short story: several inmates who were pregnant at the time of incarceration – and signed up for a C-section were pressured by doctors before the surgery to get tubal ligation. Read More
  Do you love to knit?  Well pick up that yarn and get knitting for The Birth Attendants: Prison Doula Project’s annual fundraising Knit-A-Thon.  Your knitting will support The Birth Attendants and their reproductive rights advocacy services provided to imprisoned mothers. The Knit-A-Thon is throughout the month of October, but you can sign up immediately.  Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive a packet with a square patch pattern as well as yarn and sponsorship forms.  If you don’t knit, you can sponsor someone else to knit for this project. Read More