Training In Federal Prison - Page 2
team, headed by Bob Kausen, consisted of 17 men and women
offering their gift of inner change and a new direction to
the severely troubled women. To those of us who had participated
in the training at the men's prison at Ft. Grant, Ariz., the
contrast between the attitudes of the men and the women was
immediately striking. It clearly demonstrated the strong,
traditional differences between the male and female roles
as played in our society.
On opening day,
the men at Ft. Grant had entered the training room with a
hostile"show-me" attitude. They were, frankly, doubtful
about this "chicken-shit" outfit that had come in
to spread its light, and they did not hesitate to say so.
In contrast, the women at Pleasanton had restrained whatever
hostility they may have felt, hiding it behind a screen of
As the training
proceeded, the men were more aggressive about participating
either positively or negatively. They were flat-out honest
and would stand for no "bull shit!" For instance,
during one of the games, the men became frustrated and angry
because of the confusion in the rules. I was really fearful
that violence would break out as they argued angrily with
each other and the staff. The women breezed through the game
without any display of resentment, calmly ignoring the aspects
of the game which had infuriated the men to the point where
the staff was forced to call the game off. The women found
the game frustrating but showed no anger.
The women were
slower to respond, much more restrained at first, and less
critical of the processes. Yet, in the end, they were just
as strongly affected and involved. As they sat attentively
in front of the platform, they resembled the ordinary membership
at a PTA meeting. They were a cross section of all types:
the housewife, teacher, bookkeeper, waitress, sorority girl,
bank teller, stenographer, truck driver, and business woman.
Of course, they
were also bank robbers, armed robbers, dope dealers, addicts,
prostitutes, burglars, and murderers. Really rough ladies,
some with long records. A number of non-addicts had been imprisoned
merely for being "mules." That is, they had transported
illicit drugs from supplier to market place.
Many of these
had been taken advantage of by men because they looked innocent.
There were several motherly looking older women and attractive
and refined younger women who had been arrested as mules.
To women in need of money, the high pay and purportedly low
risk had proved irresistible, but it had landed them in the