Crisis in Reform
Picture 1978, I walk into Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County N Y. It is my first week on the job as a state of New York Correction Officer, I am not shocked at what I see I am in awe. This facility housed approximately 800 inmates, these women were confined in in different parts of this huge facility, from the reception area where they stayed for the first two weeks upon entry to housing units as they were called. My reaction, to this awesome hell whole was something I shall never forget. I was on a cell block with eighty women between the ages of sixteen and fifty years old, actually there was only one inamte there in my area who was sixteen. I could not believe the way they were living (not bad at all) in this aspect. These women to me had all the comforts of home with the exception of their freedom. Lets start with the fact that alot of them were enrolled in classes, and those who were not worked somewhere in the prison (getting paid). They had schedules that allowed them to get their hair done and if a woman wanted to look like a man she could get hormone shots (I happened to walk up on one of them) which allowed them to grow beards and build muscles. Imagine I walked up on one of the girls as they were in movement in the reception area and said "excuse me sir what are you doing here in the building". So that was my reaction I just thought that these women had to many comforts for my tax dollars. Now I will reflect on Current issues in American Pinishment by Alexis Durham, in reading this short story, I will react to a partt in this book referring to woman as the fragile sex and thier needs for privacy (giving them single rooms) I never felt good about a person committing a crime being made to feel comfortable while doing time. First I am going to say that I never agreed to the law making a person who commits a misdemeanor crime go to jail or prison. I would have kept some portion of these state funds...
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