Women in prison

This report is one if not the most powerful polemics describing the problems associated with women in prison and their re-entry to civil life. I have cut two paragraphs that I have found most descriptive and pasted them below for y’all to read. After that is a couple of links that are in today’s clippings on the re-entry of Casey Anthony.

Now, you can certainly argue the correctness of the verdict from her trial but she was tried and found not guilty. However, her situation is the same reality that is now facing most women as they come out of prison. Now if this is the case of a women found not guilty think in terms of women found guilty. Casey Anthony, no place to come home as her father has said for her not to come home.

Most certainly most women will not have as a dramatic release as Casey Anthony but the same forces will be at play. Often what is verbalized in the Casey Anthony release sits in the hearts of those that deal with an incarcerated women when she is released from prison.

Where as Casey Anthony leaves jail with some $500 most women leaving prison have a total of maybe $100 gate money. She may have more money but she has no job and a lot of publicity to deal with. Her situation was best described to me several years ago by a female inmate at Lowell CI who said: KC don’t you get it. The only ones that will be glad to see us get out are our pimps and drug dealers. Casey Anthony may not have a pimp or drug dealer to deal with but like forces will be out there to exploit her.

Where will she go now? This is the bottom line question that everyone faces when they walk out. In Casey Anthony’s situation, was her lawyer that picked her up. However, most walk out of confinement and there is no one to pick them up or where they are headed is worse than confinement and that may very well be why 68 percent or so return to confinement within 3 years.

Again, you can argue that Casey Anthony represents an unrealistic extreme to measure every woman getting out of prison but I will argue that what is going on in her brain is representative of what is going on in the brain of every woman getting out of prison. Now,I invite you to read the academics of the process and tell me they have not captured Casey Anthony and every woman.


PDF intro starts here:
Once released into the community, women on parole may be treated as outcasts, excluded from the job market, and judged for their past criminal behavior. According to Braithwaite (1989), stigmatizing shaming inhibits reintegration and furthers criminal behavior. As a consequence of society’s labeling and the mechanisms of self-shaming, it appears that women offenders often experience a degradation process (Garfinkel, 1956). Female inmates and parolees who have low
self-esteem (Fox, 1982) and suffer from feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability (Bill, 1998) are likely to experience increased levels of shame in their relationships.

Punishment is compounded for manywomen inmates when they are separated from their children. The majority of incarceratedwomen are mothers—estimates range from 60% to 80% (Bloom & Steinhart, 1993; Henriques, 1996). Most women inmates were living with their children and providing the sole means of family support prior to incarceration Baunach, 1985; Chesney-Lind, 1997; Datesman & Cales, 1983; Greenfeld & Minor-Harper, 1991; Henriques, 1982, 1996). Imprisoned mothers rank estrangement from children as their primary concern (Baunach & Murton, 1973; Glick & Neto, 1977; Henriques, 1996; Stanton, 1980; Ward & Kassebaum, 1965). Rasche (2000) noted that the harshest single aspect of being imprisoned may be the separation of mother and child. The secondary costs of imprisonment to children have been acknowledged but are largely incalculable (Henriques, 1996; McGowan & Blumenthal, 1978).
Collateral costs of imprisonment for women complications of reintegration

This entry was posted in Prison and Jails, Re-entry, The Journey, The Problem, Women and Children. Bookmark the permalink.

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