Justice Action

The said scenario is the depressing reality of the manner of punishment that single mothers and their children have to endure in the serving of their prison terms. In particular, the lives of single mothers in the prison system are susceptible to the eventuality of their children being taken from their custody by the jail officers even in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the harmful implication is felt more by the children who may perceive that they are the ones responsible, hence being punished for the imprisonment of their mothers (Lees 2001).

Aside from the cited burdens that faced single mothers in the prison system, their conditions also have economic implications. Their admission into the prison system frequently manifests a result of the many difficulties that female offenders have to deal with everyday. This is mainly due to their unsettled domestic work such as in child-nurturing, and this situation is very evident especially for single mothers (Lees 2001). Life of a Single Mother in the Prison System, an Interview

The prison life of 34-year-old Chelsey Smith is a concrete example of the grueling experience endured by a single mother in one of the prison facilities in California, USA. Chelsey was meted with two years imprisonment resulting from her heroin addiction. Although already a grown woman, she has totally no idea of the system of criminal justice, and while also prepared for the decision of the judge, her two months pregnancy is all that mattered to her that time (Smith 2008). After serving her sentence and fully rehabilitated from drug addiction, Chelsey has nothing but memories of her distress while in the prison system.

Looking back, the then 30-year-old inmate was subjected to almost all kinds of harassments and suffering in the hands of the jail officers of the prison facility and even among her co-inmates (Smith 2008). “It was the most terrifying two years in my life. I could only remember it with heavy thoughts and painful feelings that I lost my daughter and two years of my life were wasted” (Smith 2008). It was truly unbearable to see Chelsey during our interview almost two years after her painful prison experience (Smith 2008). In between sobs, Chelsey recalled hard the very first day when she was physically harassed during the required strip-search.

She revealed that male and not female jail officers conducted the body search, where she underwent removing her clothes and thereafter nakedly inspected with the full and malicious view of the male jail guards. “It was really horrible. They did that even if I informed them of my pregnancy” (Smith 2008). Chelsey went through the ordeal, including the apparent “legal sexual molestation” as well as the nagging and various forms of maltreatments from other inmates, until she gave birth to her daughter whom she named Sheryl.

Unfortunately, the mother and daughter soon faced painful punishment of separation, when the still one-month-old child was pulled from Chelsey’s bed and was never seen again by her mother. She later learned that Shirley was already adopted, and her efforts to locate her supposedly now two-year-old daughter turned futile. Today, Chelsey has fully recovered and a picture of a completed women in the hands of her husband and son. Despite her tragic experience being a single mother in the prison system, she emerged productive and fought to achieve what she is now (Smith 2008). Single Mother in the Prison System, the Real Picture

Citing the result of a study about the real picture of the life of single mother in the prison system, Warren wrote that the structure of incarceration is a total failure as regard the welfare of women offenders. The same oversight panel study revealed that the policies concerning the prison system which are planned for hostile male criminals led to an undeniable situation where treatment of women, single mother in particular, in the prison system tends to be difficult (Warren 2004). The author also noted the failures of the system and how much was wasted due to the fact that women criminals remain untreated.

In particular, the result about the reported prison system policies turning unsuccessful is more significant for women-mother criminals, and most importantly single mothers who comprised around 65 percent of the total population (Warren 2004). Conclusion People and the society will never be aware of the horrifying and humiliating conditions of imprisoned women criminals, if not for an increased awareness and sincere effort to save their lives in the prison system. While they have violated the law, women offenders including single mothers need to be treated rather than punished.

The life of a single mother, as depicted by the life story of Smith and the other many women in the prison system, should serve as a wake-up call for the system to be changed for the better and for authorities to act together. Despite their wrongdoings, they still deserve humane treatment and their rights to be ultimately uphold. References Buck, M, (November 11, 2008). Prison Life: A Day. Women and Prison. Retrieved online: <http://womenandprison. org/prison-industrial-complex/>. Gaines, K, Miller, R, Miller, R, 2007. Criminal Justice in Action.

California: Wadsworth Publishing. Lees, R, (June 2001). “Women in Prison – Summary. ” Justice Action. Retrieved online <http://www. justiceaction. org. au/index. php? option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=32>. Meiners, E, 2007. Right to be hostile: schools, prisons, and the making of public enemies. CRC Press. Smith, Chelsey. Personal interview. 11 November 2008. Warren, J, (16 December 2004). “Prison System Fails Women, Study Says. ” Weblog Entry. The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog. Retrieved online: <http://realcostofprisons. org/blog/archives/2004/12/prison_system_f. html>.