The Women of America's Correctional Facilities

Interview by
Diane Danvers Simmons
Natalie Simmons
Published on
November 25, 2020

In this episode...

Who are the women in America's correctional institutions? What does it look like behind bars in 2020? Hear from a Correctional Nurse about the realities female inmates are facing and how she chooses to show up with empathy, compassion and humanity.


Correctional Nurse - Anonymous

Sam, who prefers to stay anonymous due to the nature of her job, is a correctional facility nurse at a U.S. jail.


1.40 Welcome and the podcast topic

2.30 Mother and daughter introduce the show guest, a woman who remains anonymous in this episode, going by Sam. She is a nurse in a major United States correctional facility

3.30 Our guest introduces herself and how she came to be a correctional nurse

4.30 Sam explains the difference between between a jail and prison system, both being under the correctional umbrella

6.00 Sam recounts the stressors of being a correctional nurse through COVID and how it has affected both herself and the inmates discussing the effect on mental health and uncover the reality of correctional facilities being some of the largest mental health facilities as well

8.00 The group discusses the impact and realities of being an inmate and a mother simultaneously and the experience that women face in correctional facilities 

11.00 The women unpack the rate of sexual assault victims in the corrections system

12 00 Discussion about the reasons women often end up in correctional facilities versus men 

17.00 Sam shines a light on the importance of creating livable conditions for inmates and offering up compassion and humanity

25.00 Pregnancy in prisons and the harsh realities of giving birth in the system

28.00 The question is posed - is prison the right place for women who’ve been trafficked or abused to the point of retaliation to be rehabilitated? How are correctional facilities helping to rehabilitate inmates?

35.00 Sam champions the importance of quality care and compassion in the jail systems, stating that it could be anyone at any point of their life here in this predicament and underscores the importance of basic compassion for all

For more information on women’s experience in correctional facilities check out this news special by PBS via YouTube, “American prisons are hell. For women they’re even worse.”

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