“[A] massive project of prison construction was initiated during the 1980s – that is, during the years of the Reagan presidency. Nine prisons, …, were opened between 1984 and 1989. Recall that it had taken more than a hundred years to build the first nine California prisons. In less than a single decade, the number of California prisons doubled. And during the 1990s, tweleve new prisons were opened, including two more for women.”
Between 1977 and 2004, the population of incarcerated women in California has soared 1,522%. This statistic, combined with the above quote, compels one of two conclusions. Option 1: For whatever reason – must be something in the water – women collectively have become more prone to commit crimes that carry prison sentences. Option 2: Something that is not Option 1.
The supermajority of female inmates whom I’ve represented (as an attorney during the parole hearing process) were involved in crimes stemming from abusive relationships: she either killed her abuser, or, at her abuser’s direction and in fear for her (or her child’s) life, was involved in a felony that led to the death of a third party. The law, however, has been excruciatingly slow to begin to understand these circumstances. If there ever was a an example of how the judicial system was created by and for men, this is it. That is my way of saying that Option 1 is not the answer. It’s really not even an option.
Option 2, then. Who better to discuss this with than the author herself, Miss Angela Davis? She’s coming to A New Way of Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing living and job assistance to paroled women, in Watts tomorrow. The afternoon meet, greet, and talk is a fundraiser for the organization – $50 for those who want to attend a VIP reception with Ms. Davis, $10 for those who want to be present for the discussion immediately following. Yeah, you can dismiss all this as leftist rants about how we all want to release criminals onto our white streets and terrorize our innocent children – but that’d be like choosing Option 1, wouldn’t it?
A New Way of Life’s Angela Davis event will be held at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee’s Phoenix Hall, 10950 Central Ave. 90059. The VIP Reception is from 2-3; the discussion will immediately follow from 3-5.