Problems at the Washtenaw County Jail Essays

1150 Words 5 Pages
What I’ve observed to be pressing problems at the Washtenaw County Jail are the following: 1) the hostility that the incarcerated women embody; 2) the effect that having only one hour of free time has on prisoners’ psyches when they are in the maximum security portion of the jail; 3) the social stigma that a freed inmates faces when he/she has to identify that they’ve been to jail. All three problems have impacted me someway either during our sessions or outside of class. Furthermore, all problems have, as causes, situations dealing with privilege and oppression.
While I’m not in a section of SOC389 that affords me an opportunity to interact with women prisoners, I am able to converse with fellow classmates that do. These classmates have
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Change could even come from a group of six Michigan students.
When the Women’s SOC389 Jail Discussion section was discussing with my SOC389 section ways that would still administer punishment to incarcerated women while allowing communication with their children to remain intact, we concluded with the idea of implementing some sort of community based program. A similar conclusion was reached in my section’s PCAP proposal for male inmates, but I personally feel that the issue is more insidious within the women’s jail. “Children are the future” is such a cultural touchstone that has almost turned into a cliché. Yet, cliché or not, it’s the truth. When a child is neglected in a way that causes them to have the same problems – such as incarceration problems – as their parent, who is the source of neglect, the first instance of this can be viewed as the start of a vicious cycle.
There are problems that arise when one tries to end this cycle. More common than not, it boils down to funding going toward the construction of new prisons instead of programs that would offer support to women. Donzinger cites two examples of states channeling money toward prisons instead of beneficial support programs. The first deals with Hawaii, where “legislators…proposed spending

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