An inside perspective of women’s prisons from Jennifer Myers

To hear the full interview:

By Andrea Sanmiguel / Contributing Writer

Women’s prison has been a subject very loosely discussed until nowadays. The  Netflix series, “Orange is the new black,” based off a memoir written by Piper Kerman, has become a hit among binge watchers, including myself. With one unusual story after the next, the show has been able to captivate audiences.

But there’s more to women’s prison than what we are able to perceive. Upon investigating more on the subject I was able to come across an article on called “I lived ‘Orange is the new black’ — now I’m going to watch it.” Curious about the woman behind the keyboard, I was able to come in contact with the author.

Author of “Trafficking the Good Life,” motivational speaker, consultant and spiritual seeker, Jennifer Myers, was placed behind bars for marijuana trafficking back in 2006 and recollects the series of events that happened before, during and after her arrest that would forever change her way of life.

In the article, she explains all the similarities between her and Kerman during their stint in prison.

“I’m on episode 10 now, and I’m in love. I recognize the characters from Alderson. After working with women going into prison, I believe most prison camps have a mentally unstable but enduring Crazy Eyes, an inmate like Big Boo who dresses like a man, a lord of the kitchen like Red, a Yoga Jones, an activist nun like Sister Jane, and an ex-meth addict like Pennsatucky…and every woman has a story, which “Orange” so masterfully tells.”

Known as inmate 87836-198, Jennifer has come a long way from her trafficking days. Living in San Diego and making it her life goal to help young women with programs such as R.I.S.E. To Empower, that guides them to make positive choices, and the Inside/Out program, that is designed to help incarcerated women, youth and youth with incarcerated parents.

There is more than meets the eye with Jennifer Myers; she is witty and positive about her past and has made it a launching point for more projects she would like to tackle. This is not the last we will be hearing from Myers, hoping to bring her 3-month R.I.S.E workshop into universities, including FIU.  All I know is that inmate 87836-198 is no longer her identity, but will now and forever be Jennifer.

As to her binge watching days with “Orange,” she says,  “I’ve still got two episodes to go. I think for now, though, I need a prison break. Maybe I’ll never finish the show. I don’t think I need to. I’ve done my time.”

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