Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles Of Incarcerated Women

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PM Press, Mar 1, 2009 - Political Science - 288 pages
In 1974, women imprisoned at New York's maximum-security prison at Bedford Hills staged what is known as the August Rebellion. Protesting the brutal beating of a fellow prisoner, the women fought off guards, holding seven of them hostage, and took over sections of the prison. While many have heard of the 1971 Attica prison uprising, the August Rebellion remains relatively unknown even in activist circles. Resistance Behind Bars is determined to challenge and change such oversights. As it examines daily struggles against appalling prison conditions and injustices, Resistance documents both collective organizing and individual resistance among women incarcerated in the U.S. Emphasizing women's agency in resisting the conditions of their confinement through forming peer education groups, clandestinely arranging ways for children to visit mothers in distant prisons and raising public awareness about their lives, Resistance seeks to spark further discussion and research into the lives of incarcerated women and galvanize much-needed outside support for their struggles.
 

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Contents

Overview
1
Unlikely Communities
19
Barriers to Basic Care
29
Mothers and Children
43
Sexual Abuse
59
Education
77
Womens Work
97
Grievances Lawsuits and the Power of the Media
111
Some Historical Background
159
Glossary
171
Resources
175
Recommended Reading
189
Endnotes
201
Index
241
Acknowledgments
251
Friends of PM Press
261

Breaking the Silence
127
Resistance Among Women in Immigrant Detention
143
About PM Press
262
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Victoria Law is a writer, photographer and mother. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce “Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison” and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives.

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