When former convicts are released from prison, one of the biggest barriers they face is securing employment. A job is so important for re-entry into mainstream society, but most employers refuse to hire someone with a felony on their record, despite the fact that they’re known to make loyal employees. Piper Kerman, author of the book of the same name that inspired “Orange Is The New Black,” was lucky to have a network of friends to help her find a job, unlike most newly released prisoners. She discussed the issue at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit on Tuesday, and mused to Fortune that one of the most remarkable aspects of her experience with prison was “the incredible ability of women to step up for each other, and to be resilient and to share their resiliency with other people.” Here’s hoping more major companies will change their policies regarding felony convictions. [Fortune]
A new Tennessee law makes it legal to charge a woman with child abuse and assault if she takes illegal narcotic substances while pregnant. The first woman who was arrested under this new law was a 26-year old woman whose baby girl tested positive for methamphetamines after being born. The woman was reportedly arrested on her way out of the hospital. Although she was later directed to a rehab, this new law may set a terrifying precedent to all pregnant women.
Laws like this are disguised at protecting babies, but in fact just feed the prison pipeline and deter pregnant women from seeking healthcare. If we really want to uplift the status of women, then community resources and further education better serve this, rather than the cycle of incarceration for one nonviolent act after another. Keep reading »
Another day, another fool trying to shove things up his butt to hide them from cops. This time, 35-year-old André Silva de Jesus was visiting his local prison in Ribeirao das Neves, Brazil, when he appeared “nervous,” and was pulled aside for an inspection. Claiming he had a pacemaker, André informed the prison guards he couldn’t go through the metal detector.
Little did cops know that they would ultimately find enough crap to rival an entire “Storage Wars” unit, all tucked away in his tush. Keep reading »