A Prison Within a Prison: Women Can’t Escape Inequality
For decades, our country has pushed for equal rights and treatment for all people, including, but not limited to, African Americans, Latinos, and homosexuals. However, even in our advanced time, it doesn’t look like women will ever get a break. Even when they are prisoners our society manages to treat women differently from men and not in a positive way. The treatment of women in prison serves as a huge problem in our pursuit towards equality, we must work alongside organizations such as A.C.W.I.P, PARC, and WPA to push for prison reform.
Research shows that women are not imprisoned as often as men, and when they are, they are most often arrested for “drug-related crimes” or other “nonviolent” crimes (Zaitzow 33-48). Unlike prisons for males, women prisons are very few in number. So when women are faced with imprisonment, they are often sent far away from their homes, “families”, and “legal support” (Zaitzow 33-48). Very similarly to men’s prison, prisons for women retain “traditional categories”, “minimum, medium, and maximum security” prisons. These categories classify the level of security in the prisons, minimum having less security and maximum having more. However, since women prisons are so low in numbers, this classification system is often absent, and women who are imprisoned for lower level crimes often face “maximum-security” imprisonment (Zaitzow 33-48). Women also receive unfair treatment while incarcerated as well. Author Zaitzow describes the social control in women’s prisons as “pastel fascism.” Zaitzow explains “pastel fascism” as a false pretense for the lives and well-beings of the prisoners. The article states the following: “Despite the less-threatening appearance of women's prisons, the conditions for women prisoners are usually worse than those for male prisoners. For example, women prisoners have more restricted access to legal...
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Zaitzow, B. H. “Pastel fascism: Reflections of social control techniques used with women in prison.” Women 's Studies Quarterly, 32.39 (2004): 33-48. ProQuest Web. 2 April 2013
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