Top 10 Gripping Facts about Women in Prison

As there are crimes to men, crimes committed by women are also on the high rise these days. Female criminals are in a very similar way kept jailed in prisons, but the differences in a male and women prisons are many. The atrocities faced by women are comparatively shocking, along with the abuse conflicted on them till the treatment they face while giving birth to a child in their labour. The insulting and bad treatments that are faced by female criminals in these prisons are beyond explanation and the activities and actions taken on them are more than gruesome and horrifying. Where a lady is supposed to be treated with the least care and concern even if she a criminal and a prisoner, there is something which guarantees their fundamental and human rights to them, which are seen to be violated in every possible way and measure. This article will take you to some of the horrific activities and incidents that women prisoners face by the guards, the keepers, and how their protection is equally important because on some day or the other, they would have to be released and let out in the outer world. The things done and imposed on the female prisoners make it difficult for such criminals to lead a better life after they are released because they are just left scarred for life. Here is a list of the top 10 gripping and horrifying facts about women in prison, and the treatment they receive which is near and close to be considered inhuman, and needs to be given a stop.

1. Disgraceful plight of women prisons

 Afghan female prisoners weave a carpet at a workshop in Herat prison, western Afghanistan

South Africa is home to some of the most number of prisons for women, which have been classified by an official as ‘shockingly inhumane’, which is completely right. A prison made for women criminals has to be made a little difficult and uneasy for them to stay in, but no to this unpardonable extent that it deprives these women of even thinking of ever leading a healthy and a better life. The conditions are deplorable in the women prisons with a large number of criminals being put into one room with an open toilet, one bed, one sink and one shower. Looks like the prisons are not made for helping them reform themselves but for torturing them.

2. Assaults by guards


Where one would believe the women prisons to be guarded and secured by female security guards and staff only, the breaking news is that 40 percent of the staff in such prisons are males, due to which various assaults such as rape and physical violence on female prisoners are high and gruesome. The Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Alabama is famous for such activities when a source revealed that one third of its male staff had intercourse with the women prisoners, either in exchange of required commodities such as toiletries or even for cigarettes, which is a saddening plight of the women staying in these prisons.

3. Different view of exploitation films


Many movies and television series have revolved around the topic of ‘Women in Prisons’ or WiP’s, where they have shown the great assaults on women and the various cat fights and nudity which goes around in the women prisons. Yet, the movies made then and the ones made in the modern times today show a very different picture of such prisons, where women are treated better than what they were before. But is that the actually picture of these prisons in real life, or it’s just the movies after all, they are all reel and not real.

4. The story of Piper Kerman


The popular Netflix series, ‘Orange is the New Black: My year in a Women’s prison’ has been penned down by Piper Kerman, who was a real life person actually living and struggling it out in a women’s prison. She gives a detailed account of how the life in such prisons is and the story of most of the women who are charged in minor, and some for no fault of theirs. Kerman was involved in laundering money for an African drug gang and spent 13 months behind bars. Now, she is a renowned public speaks and a nonprofit activist serving for the Women’s Press Association.

5. Disappointing healthcare


Women are more likely to contract diseases compared to men, and sadly, this worsens the life of a woman prisoner because the healthcare facilities are extremely poor and not up to the mark in these increasing number of prisons. Therefore, women affected by various diseases such as hepatitis, HIV-AIDS, cervical cancer and other chronic ailments such as constipation, urinary tract infections, anemia and other such common problems among women are left untreated, and thus increases the risk of it spreading to other women incarcerators, making the prisons an unruly and unhygienic place to even breathe.

6. Women in labour


Incarcerated women, among all other turmoil they face in prisons, are the worst treated when they are in their labour and giving birth to a child. A woman needs utmost care and concern during this crucial time of her being, yet various states in the US can just shackle them down without showing any concern for their trouble and pain. Though now, this act has been condemned by various health and human rights organizations as this activity is insane and inhuman, because it inflicts many problems for the mother, child and the physician.

7. Death row


Very few women are sentenced for a death row, the last one being Ethel Rosenberg who was convicted with her husband on charges of treason for running a spy ring in 1953. Among all the death rows given to prisoners, less than two percent of them go to women, with the most infamous death row been given to a prostitute named Aileen Wuornos who was charged on murdering seven men in one year between 1989 and 1990.

8. Children lose mothers forever


Most of the women convicted for crimes get jailed in prisons for at least 36 months, which makes it difficult for them to take care of their new born or young kids for a long time. Due to this, most of the children are given away under foster care, and who most likely would never see their mothers ever again. The federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 has a clause which terminates parental right to children who have been under foster care for 15 to 22 months, and thus leave them free of adoption. Families are lost, because children can do without anything but a mother.

9. The rising incarceration rate


The prisons for women first could just be counted on one’s fingertips, but today, the crimes committed by women have exploded greatly and increased rapidly over the years, the highest being in United States. The States has seen the number of women criminals rising largely over the years, due to which there have now been established millions of prisons for women, who are jailed for various reasons such as drug possession, prostitution and for murdering their male counterparts.

10. The First Women Prisons


Initially, women prisoners were jailed and locked up in a separate section or area allotted in the men’s prisoner ward. But United Sates gave the first women’s facility, the Indiana Women’s Prison in 1869. Later, the Federal Industrial Institution for Women was built in Alderson, West Virginia, which opened on April 30, 1927. The main aim of these prisons was not to punish the criminals but to help them lead and reform their life into better ones, as most of these female prisoners had fallen in the trap of drugs and alcohol.

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