By Lois Ahrens
Real Cost of Prisons Blog
I just finished reading “Resistance Behind Bars” written by Vikki Law. In case you don’t know about it or haven’t had the chance to I recommend you buy a copy and read it.
I will quote a little from the introduction in which Vikki writes about her response to the comment: “Women (in prison) don’t organize.”
“I began to search for stories—and women–who would disprove this assertion. I found mentions of lawsuits, and using various state department of corrections’ websites looked up their address addresses and wrote them letters asking if they would share their experiences with me.” And “To ensure that I was representing their struggles accurately and to give them the opportunity to add, update or delete any of the tales they do not want to share with the public, I sent each woman draft after draft of the chapters her voice and experience(s) appeared in. “
The voices of women form form the majority of the book which took 8 years to complete. The chapters reflect the concerns of the women with whom Vikki corresponded and include Barriers to Basic Care, Mothers and Children, Sexual Abuse,Education, Women’s Work, Grievances, lawsuits and the Power of the Media. Other chapters focus on Breaking the Silence, Resistance Among Women in Immigrant Detention and an Historical Background.
The book is written in plain English. It frames resistance by women very differently than the kinds of resistance by men prisoners which has come to define “resistance.”
The book is published by PM Press and you can order a copy on-line or I am sure your local bookstore can order it for you.