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Does it make sense to allow women to be guarded by men? Does it make even more sense that, in many cases, these guards get the benefit of the doubt from authorities and are often unsupervised? That’s what people are starting to question and challenge.
Eleanor J. Bader at Truthout.org writes on the issue, stating that it’s time to examine how our nation deals with female prison inmates and the entire system itself. She notes the massive power imbalance set to occur when men are allowed to guard women and maintain a position of authority.
Allowing male guards to oversee female prisoners is a recipe for trouble, says former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn. Now a frequent lecturer on incarceration policies and social justice, Whitehorn describes a culture in which women are stripped of their power on the most basic level. “Having male guards sends a message that female prisoners have no right to defend their bodies,” she begins. “Putting women under men in authority makes the power imbalance as stark as it can be, and results in long-lasting repercussions post- release.”