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A few weeks ago, the Department of Justice sent a letter to U. Sentencing Commission to declare its support for reducing sentences for drug and other offenses.The Bipartisan House Committee on the Judiciary Over-Criminalization Task Force held its first meeting in June.

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In recent years, the rates of black women incarcerated has been going down while rates of incarceration for Hispanic and Latina women have been increasing. Roberts writes in The UCLA Law Review, “Mass imprisonment of blacks and Latinos allows the state to exert direct control over poorly educated, unskilled, and jobless people who have no place in the market economy because of women who lack adequate access to drug treatment are most vulnerable to the punitive approach.” Most arrested for drug violations will plead guilty regardless of actual guilt to avoid going to trial and getting one of those 5-10 year mandatory minimum sentences currently jacking up prison populations.There’s minimal legal aid for poor inmates, too, which is one of many reasons that guilty plea bargains concluded 97% of all federal cases in 2011, and that so many innocent poor women and women of color are locked up.Small involvement in the drug trade could land you in prison for many years, especially if you had a lousy court-appointed lawyer.Even if you had a great Legal Aid lawyer, he or she was guaranteed to have a staggering caseload and limited resources for your defense.Kerman makes friends relatively quickly, gets along with other inmates and doesn’t reveal her lesbian past to anybody.

Her life “on the outside” is stable and supportive: she’s got loving parents, her relationship with Larry is established and he’s gainfully employed, she’s got a job waiting for her on release, and her extensive circle of friends visit regularly and mail her packages, letters and books.

It was hard for me to believe that the nature of our crimes was what accounted for my fifteen-month sentence versus some of my neighbors much lengthier ones.

I had my fantastic private attorney and a country-club suit to go with my blond bob.

debuted at a perfect time for numerous reasons — like that we were starving, really, for a racially diverse female-driven show unafraid to tackle queer and transgender narratives. is home to 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison inmates and women are this country’s fastest-growing prison population. The pain of family visits.” Also: In this article I will look at how the stories from the movie compare to the memoir, and what both can teach us about women in America’s federal prisons.

But the timing is particularly perfect politically, because now more than ever the shameful, counterproductive, racially biased and monumentally expensive criminal justice system deserves national interrogation, and this show could potentially help move that conversation forward. It’s historically been difficult to generate activist attention around criminal justice reform, but increasing media attention could add more hearts/minds/bodies to the thousands who’ve been battling these issues tirelessly for years, like The Sentencing Project, The Women’s Prison Association, Families Against Mandatory Minimums and The ACLU. The hidden likenesses between the guards and prisoners. If you plan on reading the memoir, don’t read this article, because it’s chock-full of spoilers!

Two-thirds of female inmates are non-violent offenders like Piper, who pleaded guilty in exchange for a reduced 15-month sentence.