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OU to host film, discussion about imprisoned women

The film "Women Behind Bars: The Voices of Oklahoma's Incarcerated Women and Their Children" will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gaylord Hall.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: October 23, 2010

A free public screening of "Women Behind Bars: The Voices of Oklahoma's Incarcerated Women and Their Children," a University of Oklahoma student film production, is 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 1140 of Gaylord Hall, 395 W Lindsey St.

The film is affiliated with the research of Susan F. Sharp, an OU sociology and women's and gender studies professor.

A question-and-answer session will follow with panelists Sharp; Amina Benalioulhaj, the film's director and producer; Lisa Smith, director of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth; Sheila Harbert, director of Girl Scouts Beyond Bars of Eastern Oklahoma; and set photographer Sarah Warmker.

Oklahoma has the highest female incarceration rate per capita in the world, according to the "Study of Incarcerated Women and Their Children" by Sharp and Emily Pain, of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. Around 4,500 children in Oklahoma have a mother in prison at any point in time.

At 132 per 100,000, Oklahoma's female incarceration rate is almost double the national average of 69 per 100,000, yet Oklahoma ranks 17th in violent crime and 19th in property crime, so the high incarceration rate is not a direct result of the crime rate, expert say.

For more information, go to or call 325-5787.


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