Posts Tagged prison
At first I was hesitant to even screen this show but I’ll admit I’m intrigued about prison wives. Mainly the women who marry men already incarcerated and women staying with men who commit horrific crimes and have long jail terms. I breezed through the first two episodes and it’s everything you’d expect this show to be.
Prison Wives Club focuses on four women and their complicated, bizarre marriages to men in prison. They all live in Washington state. Kate, 28, and Jhemini, 25, are sort-of friends and live in Seattle. Jhemini gets on Kate’s nerves because Jhemini “thinks she’s perfect.” In episode two, Jhemini says: “I don’t want to look like someone who’s married to someone in prison.” Not quite sure of what that woman looks like but Jhemini sure stereotypes people.
LaQuisha, 32, and Ana, 28, who live in Tacoma, Wash. are friends because their husbands are best friends in prison. LaQuisha decides to form a support group for prison wives and Kate and Jhemini attend. The women spend a lot of time justifying why they’re married to men in prison, communicating with their husbands via phone or Skype and visiting once a month or so. In between they’re hanging out with friends and working. Or not.
This show is definitely a train wreck. It’s mind-boggling. LaQuisha’s the only one who is independent and mature. She’s the most interesting of the three woman. I just can’t wrap my head around her marriage to Phillip.
Her husband is currently serving a 10-year sentence for assault.
“We slept together and it was amazing and an emotional attachment formed. I married him knowing he was going to be going away.”
Why? Really why? Jhemini gets extended family visits (EFV) with her husband. So I guess she’s getting that amazing sex every so often. She’s also very judgmental of the other women in the group. Unsure how she supports herself.
Her husband Carlo is also serving a 10-year sentence for assault. He’s completed three years. They met in high school and ran into each other a few years later. She visits Carlo once a month and is allowed conjugal visits.
“Just because my husband’s away doesn’t mean I have to act like some raggedy prison wife.”
Is there such a thing?
“What do I do for sex? I travel with a pack of lesbians and Carlo is fine with me having girl on girl fun.”
LaQuisha dated Phillip in high school and 11 years later she got a facebook message from him. Prisoners are allowed to Facebook? He’s in prison for murder. A 60 year sentence of which he’s served 13 years. Oh what is the point to be married to a lifer. She has a daughter and her ex-husband still loves her and wants to be with her. She works at a hospital, I think as a rad tech.
“I’m okay with it because this is the man I love.”
Ana met Michael via writeaprisoner.com and they’ve been married about a year. Sweet newlyweds. haha. He’s been in prison since 1987 but might get re-sentenced under some sort of law because he was 15 years old when the crime occurred. Ana works late nights at a convenience store. Her husband robbed a convenience store. She lives with two friends to save money.
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Prison Wives Club premieres Tuesday, October 28 at 10pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
Oh Lifetime. The network for women. Women who are victimized (nearly EVERY Lifetime movie). Women who have issues with un-supportive and philandering men (True Tori). Women who need help (Girlfriends’ Intervention). The stereotypically bitchy, difficult women (Dance Moms). Women who are less than. Women who aren’t role models. [Exception for Amanda deCadenet and her Undone show and prior to that her Conversations]. Why can’t there be an Entrepreneurial Women Club.
Instead there’s going to be Prison Wives Club. Women putting their lives on hold for incarcerated men. Women who have the hots for men on death row perhaps. I’m not sure the premise or attraction. Here’s what the press release tells me.
the women are:
–she had a penchant for bad boys, and after her husband’s incarceration she was abandoned by some of her closest friends.
–tries to be the perfect prison wife, though she has yet to reveal her husband’s situation to her conservative family and struggles with the double life she leads.
–met her husband through a website and secretly wed him, believing he was in prison for life. With parole a suddenly new possibility, Ana must finally tell her family the truth and face the consequences of her decision.
–has yet to consummate her marriage to her convict husband and is raising a young daughter as a single parent.
Prison Wives Club is produced by CORE Media Group. Jennifer O’Connell (The Real Housewives of New York City, Bethenny Ever After) and Paulina Williams (Eric & Jessie: Game On!, Love in the City) serve as executive producers, and Jenny Ramirez, Tim Sullivan, Glenn Stickley and Rajan Shandil serve as co-executive producers. Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and Colleen Conway Grogan serve as executive producers for Lifetime. Eight episodes have been ordered for this season.
SICK JUSTICE: Inside the American Gulag by Ivan G. Goldman. Publisher: Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press (2013). Nonfiction. Cloth. 256 pages. ISBN 978-1-61234-487-4.
If you’re like me, you may already doubt the U.S. justice system after reading, hearing or watching cases such as George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin, O.J. Simpson, The West Memphis Three and The Central Park Five. Or like me you’ve had your own experiences with the ineptitude or inequities of the legal system. 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the United States. That’s big business. After I’d watched The Central Park Five documentary and been discussing it on Twitter, an author friend told me I should read this book. Author Ivan Goldman thoroughly researched our criminal justice system– visited several prisons, interviewed inmates and included details about little known cases and well-known cases such as Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger and the West Memphis Three.
Goldman explains the brutally ridiculous and unfair mandatory minimum drug sentences, three-strikes laws, punishing nonviolent first-time offenders, the ineffective war on drugs, closing mental health institutions around the country and how that pushes the mentally ill to seek other treatment for their illnesses. He also reveals the big money business in private prisons and bureaucracies running prisons that don’t want to see anything change. Egregious injustices occur when those accused lack money or power. It’s angering, disturbing, eye-opening and a difficult read [meaning you might need to put it down from time to time to reflect].
Some compelling points from the book:
–“one in thirty-one U.S. adults in jail, prison, or on parole, according to a 2009 report from the respected Pew Center on the States.”
–“The National Employment Law Project found that 90 percent of employers check potential employees for criminal backgrounds. More than two-thirds of the states allow hiring and professional-licensing decisions to be made on the basis of an arrest alone; no conviction is necessary. By age twenty-three, 30 percent of Americans have been arrested; this number was 22 percent in 1967.”
–“The New York Innocence Project fond that in more than 15 percent of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing, an informant or jailhouse snitch had testified against his defendant.”
–“In June 2011 The Global Commission on Drug Policy, a high-powered group of former world-leaders, including former United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan and past presidents of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, issued a report that concluded the global war on drugs has been a disastrous failure that foments violence and doesn’t curtail drug use.”
–“Wackenhut is a private security firm that was renamed the GEO Group in 2003. As the GEO Group, it currently runs lockups in fourteen states and is a component of British-based G4S, the world’s largest security company.”
–“The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors estimated that in 2008-11 states cut $3.4 billion in mental health services, while an additional 400,000 people sought help at mental health facilities.”
–“In January 2004 the Sentencing Project estimated that a black man had a one-in-three chance of serving time in prison at some point in his life.”
–“The practice of stop-and-frisk rests on a 1968 decision that established the benchmark of ‘reasonable suspicion’—a standard lower than the ‘probable cause’ benchmark used previously.
From 2004-2009, New York City police officers stopped people and checked them out three million times. “Nearly 90 percent of the people stopped were completely innocent of any wrongdoing.” Crime was going down and the number of people stopped and frisked during this time period went up.
–“In 2007 Texas began place more low-risk, nonviolent offenders on probation or freeing them on parole. It also started providing treatment to inmates suffering from drug and alcohol addiction or mental health problems.”
–“Convicts who maintain contact with family and friends in the outside world are less likely to be convicted of additional crimes and usually have an easier reintegration back into society, yet the clumsy federal system still incarcerates inmates far from home.”
–“Up to 60 percent of ex-convicts in New York State are still unemployed after release, according to a study from the Independent Committee on Reentry and Employment.”
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Potomac Books.