The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

A Place to Call Home….

on October 25, 2013

October 18, 2013

Today is Friday.  That, “Hooray, it’s Friday,” mindset doesn’t really hold the same meaning while one is in camp.  Other than they serve us fish for lunch, and if you have a job that pays (near slave wages) you may be off for the weekend.  Today, to keep myself busy in the morning, I helped with waxing the floors in the unit where I stay.  It is incredible to me how women will find a way to make their environment clean and livable.  I say that because I spent the morning putting wax on a concrete floor! Yes, for real!  And I have to admit it does look better!  But, in my mind I was thinking, what the hell?  This is a concrete floor!

Many of the women have been and will be here for a while and for them camp is home.  There are over 300 women here and on each side there are three unit staff members. Also, each side, North and South, have designated leaders in each unit.  Many of the other women don’t like the structure because they feel like no one in the same camp color (green) should be telling them anything.  Well, this structure is familiar to me, mainly because in the college dorms we had Resident Assistants. So I understand the process fully.

I truly admire the dedication these women take to keeping the environment clean.  It is their home and for 22 to 28 months it is mine also.  So, I have no problem mopping or cleaning bathrooms and showers because I love a clean sanitary environment.

Watching a few of the women today made me think about what wonderfully productive people they could be in the community.  Their dedication, tenacity, leadership, and passion for their roles really has me thinking about how they can transfer these fine qualities OUT when they leave here after serving 10-15 years incarcerated.  What are we as a society going to do to help some of these “possibilities” who are living in here at this camp?

I am one who knows my capabilities and have some connections to the outside, yet I will still face challenges.  So, how can we help some of these very capable women, who demonstrate such incredible leadership skills in this micro-community do the same in the real world?

That’s all I was thinking as I was sitting in the library which has an ample supply of  fictional books but extremely limited readings on what to do next.  I did find a book called Beyond Bars written by Jeffrey Ian Ross, PhD and Stephen Richards PhD an ex-con.  Okay,  the one book I’ve found is four years old and written by men (nothing wrong with men, but this is a women’s camp.)  I have yet to see any up to date information for this female population.  There are so many stories to be told on this subject.  I want to find a way to help tell them.  My story is only a small piece of this big, crazy, confused, dysfunctional criminal justice novel.

I need to find a way to make it happen.  Until then, I will just lay low and continue to be my loving, caring self.

Until next time…….

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3 responses to “A Place to Call Home….

  1. crystal says:

    Maybe while you are there you can chronicle the stories and make that a book. That way the people that are not serving time can get an understanding of the mindset of those who are. I know it has to be difficult. I applaud your strength to stay positive. I will foster that out here.

  2. Sandy says:

    Can we send you books? Reading materials?

  3. Yes, you can send soft covered books and magazines. I believe no more than five at a time.
    No newspapers.

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