We, hear and read very little about women in jail, or prison. That is unless they are celebrities such as
Khloé Kardashian and Martha Stewart, or someone who committed gruesome murders such as Aileen Wuornos: or a major money scandal like Rita Crundwell did.
I’m sure it would surprise the average person to learn that at any given time there are over a quarter of a million women locked up in prison. And let’s not forget the 15% of women who are in or have been in substance recovery centers suffering from one or more Post InCarceration Syndrome [PICS] symptoms.
What really got me thinking about this, is over the past week as I was out running errands I witnessed some very shocking and alarming behaviors displayed by females and instantly knew they must be suffering from some form or all of PICS.
As I started writing this article I felt reluctant to provide the details of this behavior. I want to be clear so here is one example. I was going into a store early in the morning, and there was a woman who approached me for money. I told her I didn’t have any cash on me. When I came out she was soliciting an older man who was standing outside his car and requesting her to leave him and I’m going to guess grandchildren site alone. Instead of her leaving she lay on the parking lot pavement with her back down, then pulled her pants and underwear up her extended legs for him to view her feminine area. “Who does this,” but someone mentally ill suffering from PICS.
The following week we were ready to house’ women recently released from prison in our newly renovated house. I was so excited as I made everything perfect for their new journey. The probation officer came to view and approve the house. We got into a deep conversation because I wanted to know more about these women and how to prepare myself to introduce our PICS program to them. My illusion of how great this was going to be was quickly replaced with the reality of our unpreparedness to assist this group. I truly wanted this to be a healing experience for the women but I realized it would not be for them or our company partly because the department of corrections would not allow the females to be housed with men. The manager for the house was a man and was well prepared to handle his duties but not on the level of these women’s mental, emotional or behavioral disabilities. I had to withdraw our housing as an option for now sadly.
In my disappointment to help house these women, I went on the internet to learn about the issues facing women, in particular those who were, or are incarcerated and those homeless going through treatment centers. I must say, I was heartbroken to learn of the extra hardship females who are/have been through these traumatized experiences: The Lack of decent housing, lack of training and job opportunities, and limited community resources to assist with their mental and emotional healing. And no knowledge of how to address their PICS issues.
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