Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and three co-sponsors have introduced S. 1524, the “Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act,” meant to improve the treatment of female federal inmates who are the primary caretakers of children. The bill, proposed July 11, would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to create a new office to determine prisoners’…

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By Rhonda Turpin In their heart of hearts, every federal prisoner is a celebrity.  Many fellow inmates have approached me, stating, “Ms. Turpin.  You should write a book about me!  My case was all over the news and I am known everywhere!”  They brag. Instead of stating the obvious fact that I have never heard…

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Dianne Frazee-Walker

Oklahoma has a women problem, but not the kind of problem one may contemplate. The problem is more women in Oklahoma are incarcerated than any other state in the country. In fact, the number of women incarcerated in Oklahoma is almost double the national average. For a state that as an overflowing correctional system, 2,700 women is quite an exorbitant figure, especially when 67% of these Oklahoma women are locked-up for nonviolent crimes. Only about 16% of these women committed violent crimes. Regardless of the offenses for which Oklahoma women are spending time in prison, these dire statistics are costing the state $26,000,000 a year.

Oklahoma also has a children problem. Three percent of Oklahoma children have at least one parent incarcerated. The problem with that is children with at least one parent in prison are five times more likely to be arrested as a juvenile and end up in prison as an adult.

Even though most of Oklahoma’s incarcerated women are serving excessive sentences for non-violet crimes, they are branded into one group of degenerates by society. Local community members are ignorant about the circumstances that led up to these women ending up in prison and believe they should be locked away from the rest of civilization. Regarded as a different species. Isolate them. They did the crime, so we don’t care about them. The attitude of local Oklahomans concerning the reason for the high rate of female incarceration is: “Oklahoma has mean women.” 

The goal is to get people to view them as real people with feelings. They want to see their families. 

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By Prison Legal News

A former halfway house director, who embezzled up to $213,787 from a federally-funded non-profit Oregon halfway house, pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

As previously reported in PLN, Laura Marie Edwards, 39, served as executive director of the Oregon Halfway House (OHH), now known as the Northwest Regional Re-Entry Center, from 2007 until she was fired in 2010. The facility houses federal prisoners prior to their release from custody. [See: PLN, March 2012, p.33; Jan. 2011, p.42].

Edwards’ troubles began when the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) alerted the OHH Board of Directors that she should be relieved of her duties. BOP officials would not elaborate, but OHH commenced an internal investigation and turned its findings over to the FBI.

The investigation revealed that Edwards had funneled up to $213,787 of OHH’s funds into her personal bank account. According to court records, she misused an OHH debit card meant for business purchases to buy items from the Adoption Shoppe – an online store that she owned.

Edwards also admitted to OHH Board President and Federal Public Defender Steven Wax that she previously had been fired as the regional director of Cornell Industries, a California-based halfway house, for embezzling about $90,000.

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By Christopher Zoukis Casandra Brawley, a prisoner at the Washington Correctional Center for Women, had been leaking amniotic fluid for three days when she was finally granted medical aid.  Ms. Brawley was shackled and then transported to a local hospital.  At the hospital, she was shackled to a hospital bed during labor, which was in…

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