Voices of Justice Now: Is This Gender Responsive?

Misty Rojo, age 32 and mother of four, believes, “you don’t pity imprisoned women; instead, you question your own knowledge and belief in the society that has failed them and the system that has victimized them.” Misty is a member of Justice Now’s Board of Directors.
When the Assignment Lieutenant wanted me to do vocational training in Cosmotology, I said “HELL NO!”. Why me? Because I’m a petite 115lbs female? I wasn’t a petite 115lbs female in danger from an abuser when the judge sentenced me to 12 years for a violent crime.
What I didn’t know then was how fun and therapeutic welding is for me; I plan to make a career of it. Unfortunately, in a women’s prison of 4,000 people, we have several vocational programs in cosmotology and office careers, while offering only one class in autobody, cabinetmaking or welding–vocations often referred to as “male oriented”. So for many women like me who enjoy getting dirty, the opportunity doesn’t arise. Even in Hobby Craft, we can knit to our hearts content (yuck), but can’t woodwork or leather tool.
So many of us reentering the community can file your nails or knit you some booties, but can’t get your car started or build your house.

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