Women’s Prison Inmates Getting Second Chance

This was on a local tv station TV10: this short film about the Women’s prison in Ohio was made focusing on the rehabilitationary programs and job skills that one can learn there. It looks good, but the question is why people inside did not get a chance to go to vocational training schools when they were free, it seems like the wrong way in society. The school-to-prison pipeline without the chance to learn a skill when one was still in school is obvious. Should schools change, and should vulnerable children not be looked after better by us all, with chances for skills and jobs?

A second thought that comes up is: why the life without parole sentences, why keep someone locked up when she is obviously rehabilitated? Prison in that situation serves no purpose anymore when one has rehabilitated oneself.

Also, if there has to be education behind bars, why not college education (because the further-education-sources were taken away long ago)? And preparation for re-entry in society, and some mentoring? Maybe it is there, and of course people do have a responsibility, but so does “society,” and leaning on the prison system to rehabilitate errands seems the wrong way round. But as long as there are prisons, rehabilitation should be the prime goal.


Wednesday April 25, 2012
There are about 2,300 prisoners who are serving time at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
The women are a statistic for some, but to others they are mothers, sisters and daughters, 10TV’s Angela An reported.
Sharon Young knows the prison well.  She was sentenced to Death Row in 1983, when she was 26.

Young, who was drunk at a Cincinnati bar, was offered a ride home by the bar’s owner.
“I ended up shooting him and he died,” Young said.

Prosecutors said that the motive was robbery.
Young’s attorney appealed her conviction by citing trial errors and won the case, but a second jury trail sentenced Young to life behind bars.  She considers it her second chance at life.
The prison’s warden, Ginine Trim, said that the Women’s Reformatory is the place for many women to get their second chance if they want it.
“I tell women all the time, we make no excuses,” Trim said.  “You did what you did.  You’re here for a reason.  Now is the time you need to prepare to turn your life around and make the transition from our prison back to the community and your families.”
There are 61 rules at the prison, An reported.  Some of the rules include a mandated three meals a day, except weekends, where the inmates receive only water to drink and have 20 minutes to eat.  Groups are brought in and out, like clockwork.
The prison’s top mission is rehabilitation.
“We want to provide meaningful and appropriate source of programs that keep people from returning to our facility,” Trim said.
The Tapestry rehabilitation program at the prison has a waiting list because of its success.  Once women leave the prison, an alumni support group helps the women stay drug-free.
“One of the keys to being successful is you don’t feel like you’re out there standing by yourself or trying to do things alone,” Trim said.
Many women pursue an education.  Nearly 25 percent of them take classes and walk away with a GED.

Read the rest here and watch the video if you are interested!