CHIP Reflection Essay

Submitted By Niharika-Sachdeva
Words: 548
Pages: 3

Niharika Sachdeva
CHIP Reflection
December 9, 2014 As the term began I had many ideas about the prison system utilized in the United States, but as I soon found out, many of these pre-conceived notions were inaccurate. As we started to have discussions in class, I became further interested by the topic of women in prison. To look into the topic, I began reading A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars. Cristina Rathbone tells the stories of women in prison, that she met after a long process of negotiations and two intense court battles with the prison officials of MCI-Framingham in order to gain access into the prison walls and also the women inside. The women spoke to Rathbone about their lives previous to, and during, their incarceration. Most of the women in the prison system have been incarcerated for non-violent crimes, mainly involving drugs. During their time in prison, many of the women that Rathbone spoke to had experienced some type of sexual relations, some consensual, some not, with the officers of the prison. The thing that surprised me the most, was the women who accounted their stories of consenting to, and sometimes even being the first ones to pursue, sexual relations with the correctional officers. One of the main incentives for these sexual relationships was the “special treatment” and objects the women would receive from the officers. The topic of women in prison is important to engage with because life for women in prison differs a significant amount from that of men in prison. The main problems that women face in problem have to do with larger issues, such as all types of relationships between prisoners and officers and the boundaries that need to be further established between the two. When we went to the Oregon State Penitentiary I specifically paid attention to the way the officer interacted those incarcerated and visa versa. I noticed that the correctional officer treated many of the men that were incarcerated as objects. He did not seem to have any sympathy towards them. Something that I found