The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., is the prison made famous by Piper Kerman’s memoir-turned-Netflix-show “Orange is the New Black.” It’s also where the real-life group Families for Justice as Healing got its start.
In the fall of 2010, at a table in Danbury’s prison yard, five women decided that incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women needed to be part of the process of drafting and advocating for legislation that affects their lives and freedom.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, California's Sterilization Prohibition bill (SB 1135) goes before the state's Senate Health Committee. The bill limits sterilization surgeries in all California state prisons, county jails, and other detention centers. It bans sterilizations for birth control purposes—surgeries would be restricted to those with life-threatening medical emergencies and for curing physical ailments.
Is such a bill really necessary?
Tuesday, April 15th, 4:30 pm
Robert C. Khayat Law Center, Auditorium 1078
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
For the schedule of the entire conference see:
On Thursday, March 20, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed S2012, a bill that limits the shackling of pregnant prisoners during labor and delivery. The bill also requires minimum standards of medical care for pregnant women in jail and prison. "There is absolutely no reason to shackle pregnant women," Senator Karen Spilka, the bill's sponsor, told Truthout hours before the Senate vote. "It's unsafe, inhumane and barbaric."
Spilka was not the only Massachusetts lawmaker who thought so.
One December day in 2007, two thousand people showed up at Vancouver’s International Airport. Unlike other days, these particular people had not come to catch a flight; they were there to stop a person from boarding one. Laibar Singh, a paralyzed refugee from India, was facing deportation. On the day he was to leave, those two thousand people, mostly Punjabi elders and aunties, shut down the international terminal, causing the cancellation of dozens of flights.
So you binge-watched Orange is the New Black when the first season was released, and maybe you even read Piper Kerman's memoir that inspired the series. Season two’s June 6 launch date gives you plenty of time to read more about women's prison experiences, but where to begin? Here are five books that offer good starting points:
Read my entire list (with summaries and pictures!) on The Airship Daily . Add your reading recommendations in the comments section.
Stories such as this are fairly frequent in Massachusetts and across the country. Women often are incarcerated pretrial not because they are a risk to themselves or their communities but because they cannot afford to post bail. Those arrested in several counties are sent to the Awaiting Trial Unit (ATU) at MCI-Framingham, the state's women's prison.
The panelists will share personal stories and discuss their work experience, focusing on current local and national campaigns.