Journalist Victoria Law joins the Beyond Prisons podcast to discuss her work with imprisoned women and her book, “Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles Of Incarcerated Women.”
Law talks about how and why she wrote the book, which centers women’s struggles against incarceration and describes women’s resistance and organizing in prison. From this perspective, she also discusses the challenges and importance of compiling testimony from women on the inside, as well as the risks women have to take to speak out.
She gives examples of the different kinds of resistance women engage in, and how their struggles to obtain education and access to programming and treatment are often overlooked examples of resisting the conditions of their confinement.
We also discuss how criminal justice journalism traditionally relies on narratives provided by law enforcement and how incarcerated women are often perceived as untrustworthy. Law provides insight on the history of women’s imprisonment and explains how reform has evolved systems of surveillance and control for women over time.
Victoria Law is a freelance journalist. She is a co-founder of Books Through Bars–NYC, which sends free books to incarcerated people nationwide and the editor of Tenacious, a zine of art & writings by women in prison. She is the author of “Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women” and the co-author of the upcoming “Your Home is Your Prison,” which explores how proposed “alternatives” to incarceration expand the carceral system.
Follow Victoria Law on Twitter at @LVikkiml
Find her work at victorialaw.net
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Music & Production: Jared Ware