Women Writing…in Prison

20 Feb , 2022 Uncategorized

This week’s VIDEO focuses on a writing program for women in the Oklahoma State Prison system, which currently holds the highest female incarceration rate in the USA. In one of my courses we’ve been talking about the correctional goals of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Although we’ve been studying these goals individually, I’ve long said that thankfully our justice system utilizes all the above simultaneously with positive results (sometimes).

Check out the video and give me your thoughts.

7 Responses

  1. Lindsay Paulus says:

    I really enjoyed watching this video. It gives me hope that there are correctional facilities that help aid in the rehabilitation process while the individuals are still incarcerated. I liked that this writing workshop gave the inmates an opportunity to open up and share their thoughts. I also like how the workshop allowed the inmates to share about how they can change in the future. I think workshops like this can benefit incarcerated individuals greatly and help them to reintegrate into society successfully without returning to prison.

  2. Abigail Hendrix says:

    As stated in the video the writing workshop gives women a voice who may not typically feel like they have one.
    This seems to provide a source of comfort to the women as they were saying that going to this workshop makes them feel like more than just an inmate. Additionally it offers practice in their communication abilities which can be impacted by spending extended time in prison, as inmates have been known to adopt their own language or communication practices. This type of workshop can be beneficial to them when trying to reintegrate into the community. Incorporating more workshops like this could be highly beneficial to inmates.

  3. Cailey Russell says:

    I’m glad that prisons and the criminal justice system are using everyday activities to empower those who feel that have lost everything and give them resources to use instead of them falling back into criminal behavior. They wrote about their feeling, not negatively, but in a way to bring themselves up. I think that focusing on points in your life where you are happy, is more beneficial than focusing on the negative parts of your life.

  4. Emma Ciriacks says:

    I enjoyed the video, it gave me a sense of hope for these women and the criminal justice system itself. Allowing this type of workshop in the facilities is so beneficial for the incarcerated women. Like the video said many have been through a lot such as abuse or homelessness and these writing workshops give them a safe place to confront old feelings and write them down. These women are being locked up for a great deal of time and I think the workshop allows them to escape the feeling of being locked up and make them feel free. I think this is a really great program that has the potential to help these women smoothly reintegrate back into society.

  5. Jenna Onley says:

    I enjoyed this video very much. I am very glad that in prisons they are giving the option of being able to write all of their feelings down and write about their goals. This can give someone a huge amount of hope for when they get out. This could give them the hope they need to not let anything else happen and be out of prison once they leave and don’t come back. This seems like a good source to help women get through their sentence and be a better person when they get out. I think workshops like this should be in every prison because this could be the one change someone might need to be able to see a future for them and to be able to actually have a future outside of prison.

  6. Logan Braasch says:

    I can definitely see why programs like Poetic Justice are helpful to the incarcerated female population. Writing is a great tool for expressing thoughts; it is fundamentally important for communication as well. I am sure it assuages the melancholia resulting from the isolationist approach of most prisons in the 21st century. It’s also part of what is called “evidence-based cognitive practices” and I’m sure these programs will prepare them for the day they leave the prison (for those who weren’t given life sentences). As for Ellen, she has a great responsibility. She gets to change these women’s’ lives for the better. However, I don’t know if she means “unsafe” as meaning trauma is not safe psychologically—we have a more “trauma-informed” system in correctional institutes for the most part. Although studies show female prisons are just as a violent as mens. There are also plenty of inspirational cognitive practices beyond writing too that would be beneficial to the incarcerated mind.

  7. Rachel Sluga says:

    I think when all 4 things work for the better it is incredible. I am glad that the justice system is trying to make the peoples lives better even if its only a little. It take a lot to write something and then share it, even in prison.

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