Season 3 of OITNB is Out – Meanwhile Former Danbury Inmates Advocate Prison Reform
You may think you know what Danbury Federal Corrections Institution is like from watching Orange is the New Black (OITNB), which premiered it's third season on Netflix Thursday.
However, the real life former inmates know exactly what it's like being incarcerated in that facility and are looking to change it.
The Federal Corrections Institution (FCI) in Danbury, CT is where the author of the book, Piper Kerman, which is based on the show, spent most of her sentence. It is also the place where Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Guidice is currently serving her sentence.
More than 300 former inmates of FCI Danbury showed up to a rally on the National Mall in Washington DC last June to advocate their “Free Her” campaign, which calls for an end to mass incarceration in the prison industrial complex and draws attention to how the War on Drugs negatively affects women, their children and families, as well as society as a while.
According to an article in bitchmedia.com:
The rate of women's federal incarceration has increased 518 percent since 1980. In 1980, less than 13,000 women were in prison in the United States. That number rose to over 108,000 (not including the 102,000 women in local jails), by the end of 2012.
The idea for the Free Her campaign actually started at a table in the Danbury FCI's prison yard when five women decided they needed to stand up for themselves, and their fellow women behind bars.
Their efforts eventually resulted in the nonprofit Families for Justice as Healing.
Bitchmedia.com goes on to detail the accounts of various women who ended up in the federal prison, because of harsh drug laws, like Dorothy Gaines who got 20 years in prison on conspiracy charges after her boyfriend was arrested. Gaines was lucky and eventually got clemency. However, this isn't the case for all women.
"How many more elderly people will die in prison? How many more women will die from substandard medical care? How many more kids will be sent to foster care because their moms are locked up? I want Obama to release all prisoners who are locked up under the drug laws," asked Beatrice Codianni, who spent 15 years in Danbury prison, at the rally.
You can read the full article here.