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Professionalism at Purdy Women's Prison

By V.M .

Being incarcerated here at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) for the past few years, I have had the opportunity to observe the behavior of those designated by the state to make sure that we stay incarcerated, that being the guards. Or more appropriately termed, Satan's Minions, as I so fondly refer to them.

As you may or may not know, we here at WCCW recently won the cross gender pat search case that the DOC pathetically tried to enact. They even went so far as to say that the male guards employed here could conduct these intrusive body searches in a "professional" manner. And were I a person of a lesser sense of humor, I probably would have been outraged at such a blatant and obvious disregard for our well being.

I looked up the definition of "professional" in my ever-handy Websters , and interestingly enough, the definition did not seem to fit the behavior of the last four male correctional officers that mysteriously ceased working here in the past two months.

The DOC obviously has a different definition of "professionalism" than any of us incarcerated here, unless we're talking about sex offenders. And of course, the DOC has kept a tight reign on this information being leaked to the public.

I wonder if "professional" covers the guard that was fired after he was discovered taking "liberties" with an unconscious hospitalized female prisoner, while he was assigned to "guard" her? I think my favorite is the one that resigned yesterday to avoid the investigation that was being done on him for sending female prisoners money and packages.

As far back as 1983, when a female prisoner incarcerated here won over a million dollars from the state for a suit she filed after becoming pregnant by one of the guards here, this "professional" behavior has been hidden by the state. And still they had the audacity to insult and assault us by trying to give their male employees a license to sexually and mentally abuse us even further. Lets not forget the male guard still employed here that was grieved for the comment he made about the possibility of the cross gender pat searches being conducted here, "I can't wait," did absolutely nothing for the confidence I had in the "professionalism" being practiced here. Thankfully Governor Lowry saw the insanity of such a violation and prevented the state appealing the ban on cross gender pat searches to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Too, if the state is so confident that their male guards could indeed act in a "professional" manner, what is their point in telling us recently that our name tags now have to be worn up on our shoulders to draw the attention away from the breast area? Are they afraid that one of their "professional" male employees might suddenly become filled with uncontrollable desire and display his "professional" behavior in front of everyone, thus making it impossible to sweep the incident under the rug, as is the case with all the other past and ongoing incidents? Furthermore, why are we no longer allowed to wear short summer tops that reveal our belly buttons or midriff? Don't women on the streets have belly buttons? Will our elusive rehabilitation somehow be thwarted by our belly buttons showing? Or is it that the female prisoner's belly button is too alluring to be displayed in the company of so many "professionals"?

Maybe one day the DOC will see how ludicrous its reasoning is. However, since it is headed by a good majority of the male species, I doubt this is likely.

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