“She’s Out of Sight”: Women, Healthcare, and the Prison System



Monique Hassel

It’s no secret that the United States has a problem with its prison system. In 2009, one out of every 31 adults in the country was in prison, in jail, or on supervised release. What’s less talked about, however, is the fastest growing population behind bars: female prisoners. While it is important to distinguish the human right violations that female prisoners face, we should not think of these issues as “outside of the norm” or “special,” when discussing the treatment of prisoners in general. Yet scholarship on the prison industrial complex tends to focus on the alarming increase of men of color in prison, unintentionally neglecting female prisoners and their human rights. 

In 1873, Indiana established the first women’s correctional facility in the United States, aiming to “train the prisoners in the important female role of ‘domesticity.’”[1] Women fallen from the pedestal of delicacy and femininity…

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Moorbey'z Blog


February 5th, 2013

2/3/13; 9:00 am

Family, Friends, Comrades, Supporters All,

I have been reminded of the need to update my message now that the Cancer is confirmed and we are about to start treatment.  This is definitely Bad news but somehow in the toxic climate in which prisons in particular, but the whole country operates, I am determined that it can be beaten.

Factually, when I went (finally) for the hysterectomy in June of last year, a routine chest X ray showed a spot on my lung.  Further Pet scans, sonograms, biopsies revealed (as of September) that there was my old Breast cancer back in my lymph node (armpit) and lung.  In January another Pet scan revealed that both lungs are involved as is my scapula (maybe).  So now we are working on a treatment.  I am fond of and have faith in my doctor–a young…

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Moorbey'z Blog


by Wanda Sabir

Death row inmate Kevin Cooper’s plea for the women incarcerated in California’s Central Valley sounded like a salute to another woman who fought for freedom and women’s suffrage, Iya Sojourner Truth, whose speech, “Ain’t I a Woman,” delivered in 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, is a classic call for justice from a Black woman to a white constituency that would see her as less than human, and isn’t this the case yet again, when one looks at those enslaved citizens serving time in Central Valley? Gone are their constitutional rights.

Chowchilla Freedom Rally young Black women 012613 by Bill Hackwell, web
Young women at the Chowchilla Freedom Rally Jan. 26 spoke out passionately for their sisters in a prison packed to nearly double its capacity, demanding that the 4,500 prisoners eligible for release be freed. – Photo: Bill Hackwell

I am certain Cooper had her in mind when he composed his statement…

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