Prisonology speaks with Liz, a former inmate, about her stay in a women's prison and the issues that women inmates face.
The main difference between male and female prisons is that there are just far fewer female prisons as compared to male facilities. In this section, we discuss the implications of this and other issues that are unique to women who are incarcerated.
Ask for annual physical and mammograms during your incarceration.
Encourage children to visit. It is not the best setting but children just want to visit and know that you are okay.
H.N. (Former Female Inmate) Women's Issues In Prison
"I spent most of the time before prison in my bed not wanting to leave my room. I finally stopped listening to the media accounts of case, which were sensationalized and they were just devastating for me.
I was incarcerated for 5 months in a prison camp in Lexington, KY at Atwood Prison Camp, but I was living near Washington, DC at the time. I was single at the time so I went to by myself. I flew one-way with no luggage and took a taxi cab to prison from the airport. The whole drive over the cab driver kept asking me about why I was visiting the prison and even offered to pick me back up later. It seems funny now but not so much then."
P.S. (Inmate In Federal Prison Camp)
Women's Issues In Prison
"Being a camp, the building is not surrounded by fencing and has an outdoor recreation area where there is a track and softball field. There is also an indoor gym with workout equipment. Inmates sleep in dorms and there is air conditioning (something we did not have in Danbury, CT). There is a dorm referred to as 'preferred housing' for those with clear conduct, which I can imagine would be more peaceful than being mixed with problem inmates. There is a common area and separate TV rooms. There is also a separate dining area.
Adult Continuing Education (ACE) recreation (hobby craft) classes are offered. In Danbury the ACE classes were taught by inmates, and included topics like Spanish, French, journaling, creative writing, starting a business, grant writing, etc. There are a lot of amazing, talented and educated women in prison, so these ACE classes can be very informative and productive.
The woman (inmate) did tell me that there was a lot of contraband in that camp-cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and cell phones, so steer clear of any of that activity. I am sure similar to Danbury because there is limited supervision, those things slip through. I have been stunned about the amount of rule-breaking that goes unaddressed while in prison.
My top piece of advice from anyone entering prison is to take advantage of everything the prison has to offer, like meditation, reading, and most importantly the law library. How the time passes is completely dependent on the inmates attitude!"