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Series gave hope to women in jail -- Juliann Bliefnick

August 18, 2018

On behalf on the women confined to the Dane County Jail, I would like to thank the State Journal for its thought-provoking series on gun violence and trauma cycles.

For those of us caught in the midst of these harsh realities, the future can often seem bleak and hopeless. It is encouraging to see that change is brewing.

One thing that was not mentioned in the series, however, was that unique plight of incarcerated women. Women make up the fastest-growing jail and prison populations in our nation. Most of us are not perpetrators of violence, but victims of it.

Childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, incest and other forms of abuse are the sad story of many women here. Mental health and addiction issues only compound our trauma, as does incarceration itself -- especially for nonviolent people who are not a danger to their communities.

Jails and prisons were not meant to warehouse the mentally ill, abused, addicted or the poor. But that is exactly what our system is using them for, and it is creating more problems than it is solving. Thank god people are taking notice and taking action.

It gives people like me a little more hope.

Juliann Bliefnick, Dane County Jail

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