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.
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.
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 yet, you can get one here.
Saturday, March 1st, 1 to 6 pm
NYC Feminist Zinefest
(4th floor, Barnard Hall)
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.
Co-written with Meg Escude
, "My Mom is Badder Than Yours" examines the treatment of mothers and children incarcerated in the United States and Argentina. It discusses the strategies of resistance, activism and advocacy adopted by imprisoned mothers in both countries and, as a result of their actions, the subsequent changes in law, policy and practice.
In the United States, prison policy separates an incarcerated mother from her newborn baby less than 48 hours after birth.
Free Marissa Alexander Fundraising Party
featuring live music from Daro Behroozi & friends, plus DJ Madame Turk
with special guests (including me!) TBA
Sunday, December 15, 4:30 to 8 PM
at Billie's Black Restaurant and Lounge