From NewPolitics: On resistance in women’s prisons

25 May

A valuable piece by Victoria Law, who is the outside publisher of Tenacious and the author of Resistance Behind Bars. (More about both of those here or just look at the sidebar.) She narrates an entire secret history of fighting back in women’s prisons, beginning with the August 1974 rebellion at Bedford Hills:

IN 1974, WOMEN IMPRISONED at New York’s maximum-security prison at Bedford Hills staged what is known as the August Rebellion. Prisoner organizer Carol Crooks had filed a lawsuit challenging the prison’s practice of placing women in segregation without a hearing or 24-hour notice of charges. In July, a court had ruled in her favor. In August, guards retaliated by brutally beating Crooks and placing her in segregation without a hearing. The women protested, fighting off guards, taking over several sections of the prison, and holding seven staff members hostage for two and a half hours.

(Note: My linking to this piece is not meant to valorize rioting or hostage-taking. I wouldn’t want to be one of those seven guards. Nor for that matter would I want to be Carol Crooks after the guards finished beating her. Which is kind of the point.)


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