Last weekend, I spent a substantial amount of time binge watching the new season of Orange is the New Black. While the show puts a somewhat comical spin on the issues of life inside a women’s prison, it also has been a reminder for me of the unique challenges women face while incarcerated. Women are the fastest growing prisoner population in the country.
This Saturday marks the first official day of summer, and what better way to celebrate than by marching with us through the streets of Portland for the city’s annual Pride Parade? We hope you can join us to show your support, but if not, don’t fear: this won’t be the only time you can connect with us this summer.
Over the past year, I have blogged quite a bit about the consequences of mass incarceration for those in prison – they are separated from their communities, locked away under terrible conditions of confinement, and, upon release, subjected to legalized discrimination and denied basic constitutional protections - making it all the more likely they will someday be sent back to prison. However, what I have focused less on are the consequences for the family members of those incarcerated – those who are left behind when someone is sent away.
Educating young people about their constitutional rights has been a key component of the ACLU of Maine’s mission for well over a decade. In that time our program has grown step by step, and this year we are proud to say we reached more students and schools than ever before.