FourFourSeconds ago, a reporter asked Dr. Elizabeth M. Franklin, the former head of the prison system’s Center for the Study of Women, Families, and Child Development, if she had any regrets.
She was hesitant to say that, but then she said, “Yes.”
“I had hoped to change the culture in the prison,” Franklin said.
She is the executive director of the Franklin Foundation, which she founded in 1999 with the aim of “developing a model of a sustainable prison and a program that provides quality, affordable, quality care and education for women and children in the state of Texas.”
Franklin was the first female governor in Texas history to take office and, in doing so, she helped bring the state’s first female prison to fruition.
Since her time in office, the prison has grown from 2,600 inmates to over 25,000.
Today, the facility houses more than 7,000 inmates.
While the prison serves a growing population, Franklin is focused on the care of inmates and on helping them learn about family, community, and community development.
“It’s important to me that women have an understanding of what they are getting into when they come to our institution,” she said.
“Because, in our culture, we do not have a word for what we are getting in prison.
We have a name for it.
And the word ‘prison’ is the word that is used.”
She believes that, if women want to know how they are being treated and how to help themselves and their families, they need to be part of a conversation.
“We have a lot of families that are struggling, that are in crisis,” she added.
“We have many women that have gone through a divorce, a domestic violence, a drug abuse.
Franklin has spoken at hundreds of events across the state since her first stint in office. “
But the thing is, that is not what we have in our prisons, which is really what our mission is.”
Franklin has spoken at hundreds of events across the state since her first stint in office.
Her talk at the Franklinton Correctional Institution in Dallas is one of her most popular.
Since the institute was created, the state has received over 1.2 million inmate applications for a variety of jobs, including nurses, psychologists, counselors, and prison social workers.
And she has been a speaker at nearly 30 universities across the nation.
Franklins success with inmates is not limited to just the prison.
In addition to the prison, Franklins work includes helping to train new prison staff and ensuring that inmates have access to quality services.
She also runs an inmate health center, which serves the community and provides care for incarcerated women and their children.
And, as a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Frank lin is credited with the establishment of a national organization dedicated to the health and well-being of prisoners.
For a glimpse of the facility, visit the Franklins Office of Community Engagement website.