In February 2004, Piper Kerman arrived at the women’s prison in Danbury, Conn., to serve a yearlong sentence for a drug-related crime she’d committed 10 years before.
“There’s no visiting today,” an officer told Piper when her fiancé pulled into one of the parking areas.
“I’m here to surrender,” she said.
Piper spent the next 13 months behind bars, navigating the minimum-security federal correctional facility in Danbury and other prisons in Oklahoma City and Chicago. She kept her sanity by running around an outdoor track; learning yoga from a fellow inmate; visiting with her family, friends, and fiancé on a weekly basis; performing electrical and construction work around the prison; reading; writing lots and lots of letters; and bonding with the women who were locked up with her. Her amazing new book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, details the experience, from how she ended up in jail in the first place to what it was like waiting five years before getting sentenced. She spoke with The Frisky about why it’s important to make friends in prison and how her incarceration relates to the bigger picture. Keep reading »
Here’s a lesson for everyone out there. If you’re looking for freebies, do not claim that you’re a Vogue editor. Emma Charlton did just that, and now she’s stuck in prison for three years. After convincing an unsuspecting man to marry her, she booked a wedding at the Slaley Hall Hotel in Northumberland, and claimed to be an editor for the fashion mag in order to earn perks for her nuptials. This isn’t her first foray into a career as a con artist, though. She was sent to jail in 2007 for stealing money from men who fell in love with her and sadly stole £126,387.90 from her grandmother after writing 19 checks from her checkbook. Sure, working in fashion is a desirable career — it comes with stylish clothes and parties — but the lying about working in the industry? Certainly not worth three years in prison. Become an intern and work your way up. [Telegraph] Keep reading »
British prison officer Lisa Harris, 28, had found the man of her dreams. His name was Daniel Lynch, and he was a 33-year-old dream boat with big muscles and a baby face. Last February, they had a month-long whirlwind affair where they traded loads of loving text messages (“I miss you, can’t wait to see you and hold you. Sweet dreams.”), talked on the phone for hours, and met for a few secret rendezvous. He even referred to her as “princess.” But there was one downside to her new man—he was in prison. Her prison. And not for white collar crime. In 2008, Lynch stalked British TV presenter Katie Piper, abducted her, and raped her for more than eight hours in a hotel room. As if that weren’t traumatizing enough, after arrested, he arranged for a friend to throw acid in Piper’s face—she was blinded in one eye and severely scarred. I mean, how could you not fall for this guy?
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Here’s a brainteaser: If someone is born a man, but becomes legally female aside one special male part, and then they kill someone, which prison should they be held in—male or female?
Well, according to a transsexual inmate in this specific situation, she says she should be hanging with the ladies. Currently held in a men’s prison in the UK, this inmate claims her human right to “respect of her private life,” as stated in European Law, is being violated by having to stay in a men’s facility. And she’s suing over it. Not only is the she-mate unable to wear skirts or make-up—she also says its a glaring violation of her human rights not to be able to have gender reassignment surgery. And she’s so close—she has hormonally grown breasts and has lasered off all the hair on her face and legs. But doctors have repeatedly denied her the final surgery because she must live as a female for a certain period of time before being eligible—something she cannot do being held in a men’s prison. [Daily Mail] Keep reading »
The Los Angeles County Sheriff is considering expanding a program that distributes condoms in a unit for gay men at Men’s Central Jail. Currently, an outreach worker from nonprofit Center for Health Justice stops by once a week to give one condom per inmate to the 300 men in that unit. Now they’re considering doubling the number of condoms being distributed. Sheriff Department officials say they spend about $2 million annually on HIV/AIDS medication and identify 65 new cases of HIV each month. “Sex in jails is against the law, but there is a public health issue that needs to be considered,” said spokesperson Steve Whitmore. Keep reading »
Shudder. Double X has a creepy tale penned by Anna Balkrishna about how her mother married her prison pen pal. Oh, and why was he in jail in the first place? Rape, it turned out. After 22 years of marriage, Balkrishna’s parents divorced. Not long after, Balkrishna’s mother happened to get a random, out-of-state, collect phone call from a man incarcerated at a New Mexico prison. (Apparently, this is one way guys in jail meet women.) For whatever reason, she accepted the charges, and there began their relationship. Then, they got married. After that, her mother found out that he had not been convicted of vehicular manslaughter, as he had told her, but rape. Balkrishna’s mother had been raped in college, but this revelation didn’t deter her. Eventually, it came to light that there were other rape charges — and a mistress. In 2006, the mother’s husband was released. He cheated on her and began using drugs again. These days, he’s back in prison for assaulting his first wife. Today, her mother doesn’t regret the relationship: “‘I chose that life myself,’ she says.” Would you date a guy who had a criminal past? [Double X] Keep reading »
Seriously, women’s prisons are the new black. Three TV shows, currently in the works, will feature babes behind bars. Alan Ball, the writer/creator that brought you Six Feet Under and American Beauty, is slated to do another show at HBO, an adaptation of the award winning British hit, Bad Girls. The program promises to be gripping like the other network’s prison drama success, Oz and perhaps the only one with the chance at an Emmy. Another acclaimed movie man, director Robert Rodriguez, is also working on a women’s prison show and has been shopping the pilot for Women In Chains!. Although it hasn’t found a network home, since it promises sexy stunts like mud wrestling from the likes of Rose McGowan, it’s a matter of time before someone jumps on it. Last, but not least, Fox is making a salacious new show that should even give Rodriguez competition for his vamped up action scenes. A spin-off of Prison Break, the working title for the female version isn’t condescending or sexist at all. Just kidding, it’s Fox afterall, and it’s called Prison Break: Cherry Hill. We’re pretty sure there’s a porno out there with the same title. [TV.com] Keep reading »