If we can break the system (Aging in Prison)

If we can break the system (Aging in Prison)

By Monica Davis

The system has control over whether a person will receive justice or receive unfairness. The number of women serving life sentences has grown despite declining rates of violent crime among them. The Sentencing Project reported that between 2008 and 2016 there was a 2% increase in the number of imprisoned women for a violent crime, nt a 20 % increase in the number of women serving a sentence. This shows a disservice to the women because the data shows that many of the women experience psychiatric disorders, histories of physical and sexual violence, and previous suicide attempts. 

My piece is a charcoal drawing representing a woman who goes to jail as a young adult but won’t be released until she is elderly. The bird flying out of its cage symbolizes her freedom. I used some blue highlights to represent inner confidence. The justice symbol on the front of the woman shows how the justice system is at the center of this woman spending the rest of her life incarcerated. My drawing is made for the women that will more than likely spend the rest of their lives in jail unless the system is fair and compassionate. 

Medium: Charcoal drawing

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[Image description: The piece depicts a medium shot of a woman with her arms outstretched in handcuffs, the chain between them broken. She stands in front of a prison with the shadow of a bird flying off to the right. Half of the woman’s face is young, her hair dark black, the other half, old and wrinkled with white hair. Blue highlights carry throughout the drawing. The woman’s shirt is white with a black medical symbol.]