Orange; a unique word which doesn’t just represent a colour, but one of the healthiest fruits mankind possesses. However, the same can’t be said about the women who wear orange and stand behind iron bars never knowing what the future holds.
These women are labelled criminals, made to do time for a crime they may or may not have committed. But, does this connote that they are to be forgotten and judged by society without a chance to be useful or relate to the world?
They came from families; maybe a sister, a mother, a wife or a girlfriend; they need contact with society so they don’t lose what is left of their sanity from being convicts.
Prison today has become a home where convicted criminals are likely to become toughened and unfeeling because, in such places, survival tactics can be brutal.
Some innocently accused find themselves emasculated, enclosed into a life of abuse, assault, drugs and a whole lot more. Should it be OR can life be worth living even behind bars?
For a start, to improve on the present and build a suitable future for these ladies, certain mentalities must be addressed;
Life behind bars should be reforming not deforming; women who commit crimes should be reminded that they are going to a place where they will be reminded of past acts and decisions and then reformed. Prison isn’t about getting a welcome beating and abuse but home to be counselled and engaged.
Engagement is another road to hinge on as women need to get their minds and hands business. Why cut them off from being part of economic growth when they can be useful to the society, their families and themselves through working under strict supervision and contributing indirectly to their government irrespective of their history.
Finally love. Every female prisoner needs to feel the connection to their life out there through their families and friends. It is wrong to be abandoned and even worse isolated when intimate bonds can break the silence and bring remorse.
Women in Orange, criminals or innocently convicted criminals need to be seen first as a human, then as women. Their new uniform should not define nor tag them as inconsequential. She is like any other women in the world; relevant, resourceful and transformable.