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Black and white headshot of author Jessica Pishko

Jessica Pishko

Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared online for Pacific Standard, The Atlantic, and The New Republic, among other publications. She writes frequently about incarceration and social justice issues and lives in San Francisco with her family.

Female prisoners at Parchman sewing, c. 1930 
By Mississippi Department of Archives and History [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

A History of Women’s Prisons

While women's prisons historically emphasized the virtues of traditional femininity, the conditions of these prisons were abominable.