Field Report: Doing Ritual, Doing Time
Keywords:Pagan, Prison, Goddess, Women, Ethnography
AbstractAccording to Susan Van Baalen, former Director of the Federal Prison Chaplaincy Program, most women in prison have never seen a “free” Pagan, one who is not and has never been incarcerated. Yet, she states that Pagan Spirituality, in particular Wicca, is a growing phenomenon in women’s prisons in the United States. This paper explores the spiritual needs of Pagan women prisoners and is based on interviews with Pagan prison chaplains and the author’s self-reflective, ethnographic field notes from a visit inside a medium security federal penitentiary where Pagan women have created “sacred space” and perform rituals invoking the Goddess.
Clear, Todd, Patricia Hardyman, Bruce Stout, Karol Lucken, and Harry Dammer. “The Value of Religion in Prison: An Inmate Perspective.” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 16, no. 1 (2000): 53-74.
Coll, Cynthia Garcia, Jean Baker Miller, Jacqueline P. Fields, and Betsy Mathews. “The Experiences of Women in Prison: Implications for Services and Preventions.” In Breaking the Rules: Women in Prison and Feminist Therapy, edited by Judy Harden and Marcia Hill, 11-28. Binghamton, N.Y.: Harrington Press, 1998.
Covenant of the Goddess. Wicca: the Old Religion. Pamphlet included in mailing. 30, no. 6, ( Lughnasadh2005).
Covington, Stephanie. “Women in Prison: Approaches in the Treatment of Our Most Invisible Population.” In Breaking the Rules: Women in Prison and Feminist Therapy, edited by Judy Harden and Marcia Hill, 141-55. Binghamton, N.Y.: Harrington Press, 1998.
Elsner, Alan. Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: FT Prentice Hall, 2004.
Gearan, Anne. “Women in Prison at Record Rate.” Long Beach Press-Telegram. November 8, 2004, A6.
Greenfeld, Lawrence A., and Tacy L. Snell. Women Offenders. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999.
Hardin, Judy, and Marcia Hill, eds. Breaking the Rules: Women in Prison and Feminist Therapy. Binghamton, NY: Harrington Press, 1998.
Heney, Jan, and Connie Kristiansen. “An Analysis of the Impact of Prison on Women Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.” In Breaking the Rules: Women in Prison and Feminist Therapy, edited by Judy Harden and Marcia Hill, 29-45. Binghamton, N.Y.: Harrington Press, 1998.
Johnson, Byron. “Religious Programs and Recidivism among Former Inmates in Prison Fellowship Programs: A Long-term Follow-up Study.” Justice Quarterly 21, no. 22 (2004): 329-53.
Kaminski, Marek M. Games Prisoners Play. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Mumola, Christopher. “Incarcerated Women and Their Children.” In Bureau of Justice Statistics–Special Report–NCJ 182335. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 2000. Available online www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/iptc.pdf.
Parsons, Mickey, and Carmen Warner-Robbins. “Factors that Support Women’s Successful Transition to the Community Following Jail/Prison.” Heath Care for Women International 23 (2002): 6-18
Starhawk. Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990.
United States. Women in Prison Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems: Report to the Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, House of Representatives. Washington, D.C.:, United States General Accounting Office, 1999.
———. Bureau of Justice Statistics. “Prior Abuse Reported by Inmates and Probationers.” 1999. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/parip.txt.
———. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Prison Statistics, 2005. http://www.ojp.usdoj. gov/bjs/prisons.htm.