Excerpt From Resistance Behind Bars Shows Supportive Side of Women who are Incarcerated
Date:  06-30-2015

From simplest acts of kindness to implementing political actions, women behind bars stand together in time of need
The following excerpt from Resistance Behind Bars was posted by Truthout on June 25, 2015.

From friendships to support groups to activist campaigns, women in prison band together in many creative ways to confront the system that aims to divide and isolate them. This excerpt from Resistance Behind Bars delves into some of the community building that happens within prisons.

When Michigan prisoner Kebby Warner attempted to call her daughter on her fourth birthday, she discovered that the phone number, which she had been calling once a month, was restricted. The reason? Michigan Department of Corrections had started a new phone program with Sprint. Those on a prisoner's telephone list had to pay a minimum of $50 before they could receive a call from their incarcerated loved one. If the outside person was unable or unwilling to pay, Sprint and the prison kept the number restricted. Wittingly or unwittingly, this new system reinforced the sense of isolation and alienation that prisons inflict upon their prisoners.

"Roberta," an incarcerated mother in California, learned of Warner's situation and offered to pay the $50 deposit from her own prison wages. (The pay scale at Roberta's facility ranges from eight to 32ยข per hour.) "I know how it is not to hear your child's voice," she wrote in her offer. "I've been there. And thank God for the kindness of strangers that I was able to talk to them [my children] a few times during the roughest times. I would give it [the deposit] to her [Warner], just let me know if I can and where to send it, okay?"

Although women in prison often complain about the apathy among their peers, giving the impression that there is little to no unity in female facilities, these same women have also demonstrated a willingness to share and help each other in times of need. Read more.

In Resistance Behind Bars, regular Truthout contributor Victoria Law provides much-needed documentation of collective organizing and the daily struggles inside women's prisons. This second edition includes powerful new sections examining the challenges facing trans, intersex and gender-variant people in prison as well as their acts of resistance. Order this award-winning book today by making a contribution to Truthout.