On December 4, St. Francis College welcomed Piper Kerman to Prof. Montecalvo's "Health Issues" class to discuss health care issues faced by incarcerated women. Piper's book "Orange is the New Black" details Piper's time spent in federal prison for a drug-related offense. Since being released, Piper has been a fierce advocate of criminal justice reform with a specific focus on the challenges women face in prison.
On the overuse of incarceration as a solution to the crime problem:
Over 60% of female prisoners are incarcerated for non-violent offenses.
On the prevalence of mental health issues suffered by those in prison:
The three largest providers of mental health care in the United States are Riker's Island, Cook County Jail, and LA County Jail.
On the treatment of pregnant incarcerated women:
More than 30 prisons allow officers to shackle female prisoners while they are giving birth. Only 18 prisons have passed laws banning shackling.