A Horror Story
By A Young Man In Prison
Someone said to me, "Had you made better choices, you'd not be in prison." My first response I had to skip because it was to kick him in the balls which would be a bad thing. My second response, slightly more appropriate so I went with it. "Thank you very much Captain Obvious, so glad to see you've not lost your keen powers of observation, jackass!" I replied, only I didn't say jackass though I wanted to! The reality is that I know that poor decision making led me here. I had... a richly impressive #dumbassattack, so here I sit. Crazily so many people focus on the past, which cannot be changed versus looking to the future, which is still on deck and as impressionable as a toddler. Instead of trying to look for ways to prevent recidivism which in many cases could be as simple as being there to encourage, mentor or just be part of a support system, folks zero in on what was done to get in prison. Yes I committed criminal acts. Yes I put myself in this position. But acts performed during the darkest days of my life does not mean I am only that. If you consume alcohol 1% of your lifetime, are you a drunkard? If you crash a car one time in your life are you a driving hazard? Of course not! I don't mind being seen as someone who once made poor decisions that is true. But do not define me as that because I am so much more, as are other incarcerated individuals. Everyone stumbles; if you find someone down, help them up so they may see we are not alone in this.
Anthony Jason Machicoté
Stories from Incarcerated Women and Their Families
Excellent Piece by Refinery 29
My wish when I decided to make this site was to educate the public on what it is like to be an incarcerated woman and what it is like to be a family (and friends) of a loved one who is incarcerated. In both instances, it is devastatingly life changing and heartbreaking. I want us to rise above the stigma of a person being an "inmate" to being a fellow human being on this journey of life; which we are all on together. And to understand that we are all fallible, we have all made mistakes in our lives and we all have regrets. But that also; we all have the ability to learn, change and grow given the right opportunity and support. In the best of circumstances, prison can be that opportunity to heal; not because of the prison system, but in spite of it. It can give all of us the opportunity for empathy, compassion and forgiveness - to care for "the least among us". Isn't that truly what life is about-to care about each other, to uplift each other and to share each other's burdens so that we all feel loved and supported on this journey. Isn't that what community is all about. The incarcerated are the lost and forgotten. We need to find them and give them hope.
Sexual and Medical Abuse
Prison Strip Search is Sexually Abusive-a video by ACLU
The practice of cavity strip searches is barbaric, traumatic and unnecessary when we have scanners that can detect contraband (think airport security). Women inmates are cavity searched before visit (why?) and after visit. My daughter and most incarcerated women are victims of some kind of sexual assault as children or as adults. The cavity searches recreate the traumatic event and retraumatizes them over and over again. My daughter has come out of her cavity search for visit in tears many times. She was molested as a child. At times, I think, I don't want to visit and put her through that again. We can and should do better. Women in prison are never in the conversations about the MeToo movement. They are one of the most vulnerable populations in the country-and the world. We need to start having that conversation.
This site is dedicated to the stories of formerly incarcerated women and their experiences during and after incarceration in hopes of raising awareness about how we treat people who have made mistakes and to think about what we can do better.
Obstacles Upon Release
Full DOJ Meeting on Lowell
in Ocala, Florida
The Power of Second Chances
Debra Bennett speaking on behalf of inmates at the USDOJ Meeting
"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
Be the Beacon of Light
in Someone's Darkness
Jordyn Cahill-a former Lowell inmate and a powerful voice for change Video 1
A Direct-File Daughter
Sexual Assault-DOJ Meeting
Jordyn Cahill-a former Lowell inmate and a powerful voice for change Video 2
Video's from the Meeting with the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
INMATES LIVES MATTER
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INMATES LIVES MATTER