Dignity for incarcerated women act

Georgia

Many people may know of someone who’s had to go to jail or is now in jail. Tuesday night there are efforts underway to amend parts of a Georgia House Bill, aimed at improving the rights of women behind bars.

“prison is the punishment, the punishment is not to be degraded, disrespected, to have your rights taken away from you, to be treated like crap,” says Waleisah Wilson.

Waleisah Wilson, a former inmate was one of the organizers Tuesday, supporting an effort, to amend parts of Georgia House Bill 857 an initiative being called, The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act. 

Organizers shared some reports of horrific things that happen to women in jail, including inmates giving birth while still being shackled.

“You don’t want us to put collars around dogs but it’s okay to put collars around women,” says Tonza Thomas.

“When you purchase your feminine hygiene products it has to come out of your commissary. If you don’t have enough money on your commissary and you say I want to call my kids… Today…I want to call home…but then you need hygiene products..you have to basically choose whether you wanna get your hygiene products or call home…and that shouldn’t really be a choice,” says Waleisah Wilson.

The proposed bill aims to improve conditions for female inmates when it comes to housing, health and overall care.

Organizers tell me if nothing else happens with Georgia House Bill 857 they hope those in attendance Tuesday and those watching this report…grasp more of an understanding of what life is like for incarcerated women right here in Georgia.

Organizers say they understand male inmates have issues they encounter too. But the purpose of this initiative is to stress that women and men have different needs and therefore should not be treated the same in jail.

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