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Male Privilege in Women's Prison

Everything I was worried about happening when the implementation of SB 132

(https://legiscan.com/CA/text/SB132/id/2210293/California-2019-SB132-Chaptered.html ) began in January of 2021 is happening. My concerns range from the safety of our Silver Foxes, who are women in prison over the age of 65, to the most obvious concern for the 90% of sexual abuse survivors who are now forcibly housed with sex offenders with penises.


I woke up to a message this morning from a woman who does not reach out casually. She usually contacts me as a last resort. I have included a screenshot of the message with names redacted for safety purposes. I feel it's important that people read their messages in their own words without any paraphrasing or politicizing of their experiences. This is one of many cries for help I have received that include incidents where a person who transferred from men's prison has made unwelcome sexual advances that would be a crime anywhere else in society. These women should never have to deal with anyone's penis, for any reason, while they are serving their sentences in a women's prison.


The way SB 132 was crafted provides no guardrails or room for the Department of Corrections to keep the female population safe from the 33.8% of transfers from men's prisons who are registered sex offenders. The committee responsible for reviewing all requests to transfer to women's prison cannot under any circumstances use sexual orientation, criminal history, or genitalia as a reason for denial because it would be discriminatory. By default, anyone who wants to transfer to a women's prison can transfer via SB132, because they are allowed to raise concerns for their health and safety if denied and their request has to be reassessed. This privilege is ONLY accessible to prisoners who use SB132. These kinds of privileges are unheard of in the Department of Corrections and no one else has access to respect, agency, or dignity.


The entitlement that came with the introduction of this law has led to an enormous imbalance of power. When a small sector of a whole population is given privileges and advantages it leads to the oppression of the other sectors. Oppression in this particular situation is prolonged cruel and unjust treatment. Incarcerated women are already forgotten and fall through the cracks more often than not. They have been the losers in enough political games, have been the vessel for more than enough funding, and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.


We are shifting gears and brainstorming for avenues to ensure incarcerated women have equal protection of the law. We do not desire to take away anyone else's rights. SB132 would be something we could stand by if the privileges in the law were extended to women and provided them with the protection they need from predators, too.


Thank you for your continued support. We could not do this without you all. Please explore our website for more information on how you can help us help the least of us. www.womaniiwoman.org #incarceratedwomensrights



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