Carved linoleum block


First printed layer


Second printed layer with text


Vinyl print cut out


Final printed layer

Gretta Richardson, Scripps College '19

interviewed Radha Pandey

          This semester I am taking a class called Women, Crime, and Punishment, which explores issues of crime and punishment through a lens of gender, also considering intersections of gender, race, class, age, and sexuality. The class examines issues that bring women into the criminal justice system and that face them in prison and on release, the impact of the system on mothers and families, and the gendered structure of prisons, among others. In addressing these themes, we also consider the nature and purpose of punishment, the current state of the criminal justice system, including the war on drugs, mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex, how we define or conceive of crime, the relationships between the criminal justice system and other social and political institutions, whether prisons should be reformed or abolished and how we can make change. Additionally, for this course, we visit the California Institute for Women, a women's prison in Chino, California. This print is inspired by my coursework in this class as well as my conversations with incarcerated women at CIW.

            While reading for this course, I came across a startling statistic from the American Civil Liberties Union. “Eighty-six percent of incarcerated women are victims of domestic violence.” Often our criminal justice system treats defendants as black boxes, there is little consideration for the individual’s personal history or trauma that may have caused them to commit a crime. This statistic became the inspiration for my print. Often, we think of incarcerated people as perpetrators of violence, when in reality 86% of incarcerated women are victims themselves. I chose to title this print "Victims" to emphasize this.

            I first carved a block print flower, to represent each woman’s individual experience and history that led to her imprisonment. Then I cut vinyl to create the illusion of bars caging in the flower. Finally, I printed the statistic below in hopes of educating the viewer.