Blogs

What About the Sisters? Mass Incarceration, Gender and Resistance in the South (U of MS)

In Mississippi in April? I'll be delivering the closing speech at the Rethinking Mass Incarceration in the South conference. The conference is free, but you need to register if you want to be fed lunch and dinner.

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:
http://sarahisomcenter.org/rethinking-mass-incarceration-in-the-south-sc... What About the Sisters?: U of MS talkWhat About the Sisters?: U of MS talk

After years of organizing, Massachusetts Senate Votes for Childbirth Without Chains

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.

How Can We Combine Direct Support Work with Political Analysis? (a review)

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.

Waiting for Season 2 of Orange is the New Black? 5 Books to Read in the Meantime

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.

my latest on Truthout: Will Massachusetts Build a New Jail or Explore Alternatives to Bail?

Norma Wassel recalled a woman who was arrested for stealing a winter coat. Not only did she not have a winter coat, she also lacked $50 to post bail. Without that $50, she would have remained behind bars until her case was heard.

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.

Sat, March 8: REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS IN PRISON at Beyond the Bars conference, NYC

Join me, Savanna Stokely of Birthing Behind Bars, and Tamar Kraft-Stolar of the Women in Prison Project for a discussion of the issues around women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights inside prisons, and the reproductive rights issues that feed into the prison industrial complex.

The panelists will share personal stories and discuss their work experience, focusing on current local and national campaigns.

Tenacious at the NYC Feminist Zinefest, Sat, March 1st, 1 to 6 pm

I'll be tabling issues of Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison at the NYC Feminist Zinefest. Come by and say hello! If you haven't picked up your copy of Tenacious (or of Resistance Behind Bars) yet, you can get one here.

I'll also be doing a short reading from Tenacious between short reading from 2:50 to 3 pm.

Saturday, March 1st, 1 to 6 pm

NYC Feminist Zinefest
Barnard College
3009 Broadway
James Room
(4th floor, Barnard Hall)

Women In Solitary Confinement: Buried Inside the Federal Prison System

My latest on SolitaryWatch, following my two pieces on solitary confinement in women's state prisons:

This past September, in response to continued criticism around its use of solitary confinement, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) began an internal audit of its “restricted housing operations.” As noted earlier by Solitary Watch, no women’s prisons are listed in the Scope of Work provided by the team hired to conduct the Special Housing Unit Review and Assessment.

"If the Risk is Low, Let Them Go": Efforts to Resolve the Growing Numbers of Aging Behind Bars (Truthout)

The recent release of 74-year-old Lynne Stewart has made headlines. Stewart, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, was granted compassionate release December 31, 2013, after a protracted struggle by Stewart and supporters across the country. Stewart, whose cancer has spread to her lungs, lymph system and bones, will spend her remaining months with her family in Brooklyn.

But what about the aging and infirm people incarcerated nationwide who lack Stewart's fame and support? The United States has some 125,000 prisoners age 55 and older, quadruple the number in 1995.

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