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Prison Moms

Wanda Beriguette

Prison Moms

Prison moms are the best.

There are women in prison who take on the motherly role and take care of inmates. They are the women that pass on wisdom to the new inmates and they try to keep the peace. They have good intentions and usually have longer sentences to serve. Prison moms are under-rated. They help more than the correctional officers because they can relate to what inmates are going through. They have been incarcerated for a long time, so they know all the "shortcuts" in prison. They never judge and always want to help. They don't encourage violence or anything negative. They keep women's spirits high.

When you get locked up, it's hard to know who to trust. There are the correctional officers, who are always watching you, and there's all the other inmates who seem to be everywhere waiting for you to make one mistake so it can become a full fledged fight. And then there are the prison moms—those wizened women who've been around for ages and know all the ins and outs of life inside a correctional facility.

They're not exactly "mothers" in the strictest sense; some of them don't have children of their own. They're just women who take on the maternal role and know how to react accordingly when things get rough. Prison moms are often lifers—they've been behind bars for decades. They know all of the shortcuts and workarounds that exist within the system because they've been there for so long.

The prison mom is the unsung hero of the correctional system. She's the one who keeps you going when you're feeling down, who knows how to get things done in prison and can help you out of any bind. She's the one who makes sure that when you go into solitary confinement, it's not just a bunch of cold concrete—it's also got some nice pictures on the wall and some flowers out of plastic cups. They just want everyone to feel cared for. And they are caring—so much so that they'll go out of their way to make you a meal or lend you a relaxing book.

These women have seen everything in prison. They're not afraid to tell you when something needs to change—but only because they care about making sure that everyone has what they need to survive this place together. They create unity in a space designed to divide. In my opinion, the prisons moms are reformed. They have managed to overcome all of the typical obstacles in prison that are created to keep you feeling soulless.

You know their vibe is real because even prison staff treats them differently. They automatically have a respect level that is not given to newer inmates and short time offenders. Prison moms are the backbone of female prisons.

Painting by Gwynne Duncan 

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