The Forgotten

I sit back and watch things that go on. I use to stand up at the injustices and the wrongs done by officers, but retaliation against me for so long, i say nothing. I wonder if we are forgotten, or does society even care that we suffer abuse behind bars. There are plenty of female inmates that are here for drug convictions or robbery or theft of property and a lot get out after 5 years or less and keep breaking the law and keep coming back to prison.

The Forgotten - an inmates statement regarding the criminal judicial system in Alabama.
The Forgotten – an inmates statement regarding the criminal judicial system in Alabama and how it treats “violent female offenders” versus the “non-violent repeat offenders”.

And there are plenty of us who are here for defending our lives or that of our children, and by taking a life that was a threat to us or our loved ones, we forfeit our freedom and removed from our families. We are rarely ever given another chance at living in society, yet we are the ones who won’t commit another crime and keep returning to prison. We are not the ones society should fear. We don’t get high on drugs and break into your home to steal.

We are guilty of murdering one who was threatening to kill us. On those rare occasions when we are given another chance at society, we don’t come back, we don’t prey on society. We appreciate our new freedom because we have lost so much. Society shouldn’t worry about female violent offenders. 9 times out of 10, the person we killed was an abusive husband or boyfriend. It’s easy to judge us, but until your life or your children’s life has been threatened, you have no idea what you are capable of doing. The ones society should worry about granting parole to and the ones who get a slap on the hand with light sentences are the nonviolent offenders, society drug users and drug dealers. Society should fear these women. They will prey on your Mom & Dad, your sister and brother, your grand parents, your children.

The prison door is a revolving door for them. For us who are here for murder in self defence, serve our whole sentences and are rarely granted parole and those with life sentences end up dying in prison. We are locked up and forgotten and yet we are the least dangerous, the least of society’s worries.

Transcribed by admin, inmates name withheld in fear of retaliation

 

Why we should close women’s prisons and treat their crimes more fairly

Photograph: K C Bailey/NetflixImage from Orange Is The New Black

‘Nearly every incarcerated woman is the victim of a perverse and lazy policy disfigurement that fails to acknowledge the marked differences between female and male offenders.’

By  and originally published by the guardian
 Professor Mirko Bagaric is the Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Sentencing at Deakin University, Melbourne. Wednesday 1 June 2016 

Women almost never scare us; commit random acts of serious violence; violate our sexual integrity; or form organised crime networks and yet their prisons numbers are now the highest in recorded history.

The homogeneity of the human species breaks down when it comes to criminal behaviour. Women, who constitute slightly more than 50% of population, commit only about 20% of all crime. They commit even a lower portion of all serious crime.

Hillary Clinton is right to assert that the sentencing system should be reformed to reduce the growing number of female prisoners but the changes should go much further than has been suggested. We should implement concrete targets to remove the stains on our landscape and societal ethic that are women’s prisons.

There are remarkably similar patterns of female offending and incarceration in the United States and Australia. In the United States women commit only 17% of felonies, while in Australia they commit about 13% of the crimes dealt with in the higher courts.

Moreover, when it comes to sexual offences, rounded off to the nearest whole number, women constitute 0% of all offenders – that’s right, zero. The crimes they most commonly commit are drug and property offences. Thus, in the US, approximately 30% of female prisoners are incarcerated for property offences, and a further 26% for drug offences. The percentages for these offences are 26% and 17%, respectively, in Australia.

Women do of course commit homicide offences, but nearly always the victim is a relative and the crime was committed against the backdrop of an abusive relationship or depressive mindset. All homicides are heinous crimes but the types of homicides committed by women rarely involve random victims and hence do not engender community fear.

Despite this, the rate of female incarceration in both the United States and Australia is on the increase – far outstripping the increase in male incarceration levels. Women now comprise 8% of prisoners in the United States and Australia, which amounts to more than 200,000 incarcerated inmates in the US and 3,000 in Australia.

Nearly every one of these incarcerated women is the victim of a perverse and lazy policy disfigurement that fails to acknowledge the marked differences between female and male offenders. The differences are so stark that not only should women be treated more leniently because they commit less serious crime but they should also be treated more leniently when they commit the same crime as a man.

There are four major differences between male and female offenders.

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Small Issues Tell a Bigger Story of Reverse Racism at Montgomery Women’s Facility

I never thought I’d see it, but it happens everyday here ~ reverse racism. We have roughly 70 Alabama Department Of Corrections employess and Officers and supervisors here and only 2 are white, and one is from Romania. Our Warden is black as well as our Captain and all supervisors.

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Small issues tell a bigger story of reverse racism at Montgomery Women’s Facility

The black inmates as well as Officers can call us honkies and crackers and nothing is said. I stood in pill line and watched the black Officer make a white inmate walk all the way around the tables to get to her seat, yet a few minutes later, she let 2 black inmates take the short cut, the white inmate was denied and yelled at for trying to take.

This same Officer made a white inmate get to the end of line for a minute to retrieve her ID and would not let her get her spot back. When there are disagrements between black and white inmates, Officers and Supervisors always side with the black inmates.

Parole board has been granting parole to black females with violent crimes these past 3 years, but us white females with violent crimes have been denied parole and set off 5 years. No one is helping us and we are without hope at this corrupted facility ran by Alabama Department of Corrections.

Transcribed by admin from a statement by an inmate , identity withheld as she is in fear of retaliation.

D.O.C (Dummies Over the Convicted)

Mass confusion is an everyday occurrence inside the walls of Montgomery Women’s Facility. There are rules written out in the S.O.P’s (Standard Operating Procedures) that aren’t set forth and then there are rules given by the Warden, the Captain, the Lieutenants, the Sergeants, and Officers. On a daily basis a new rule is issued and usually unbeknownst to all inmates, therefore most are unaware.

Alabama D.O.C (Dummies Over the Convicted) an inmates statement alleging blatant disregard for rules and regulations at Montgomery Women's Facility.
Alabama D.O.C (Dummies Over the Convicted) an inmates statement alleging blatant disregard for rules and regulations at Montgomery Women’s Facility.

We never know which rule to go by because there aren’t any memo’s posted and most of the rules are contradictory to other rules. We also have to be aware of Staff members (Cynthia Steele) reading confidential mail from an inmate to the warden, to another inmate, which could have caused a major uproar between the two inmates. There’s no one here to trust with crucial problems that arise.

There are posters, posted everywhere stating that we should report our concerns about abuse and extortion, but when we do, the accused is forewarned by the P.R.E.A (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Officer Lt. Bentford. The accused lies and states that there was no such of an occurrence and then the investigation is thereby dropped. No witnesses for the defendants are ever called.

On one occasion during a P.M smoke break, Officer Williams walks through a crowd of inmates who are smoking “Spice“. She makes the sound of a siren, forewarning the “Smokers”. On another occasion, Officer Dickerson walks by a table outside where there are about 10 inmates who are smoking “Marijuana”. She passes them by to go to an inmate who is sitting in an open “wooden closet” to tell her she can’t sit there.

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Violent, overcrowded Alabama prisons hit a breaking point​​​

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365713534

Alabama has the most overcrowded prison system in the nation: More than 24,000 inmates are housed in a system designed for half that number. The violence, overcrowding and actions taken by the federal government pushed state government to action, passing a penal reform bill. But does it go far enough? Jeffrey Brown reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: Alabama’s prison system at a breaking point.

The state currently packs more than 24,000 inmates into a system designed to house about half that number.

Jeffrey Brown looks inside the most overcrowded prison system in the nation. It’s part of our ongoing series Broken Justice about new approaches to criminal justice.

JEFFREY BROWN: The William C. Holman maximum security prison in Atmore, Alabama loud, crowded, and, when we visited just weeks after a riot broke out here, still in partial lockdown.

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