At the Prison: Studs, Females Who Take On Male Personas

One of the first things we, as high school teachers, noticed our first night at Lee Arrendale State Prison was that some of the inmates appeared to be, not women, but young men. (Arrendale Prison is the largest women’s prison in Georgia.)  In the classroom, other inmates referred to these inmates as “he” and then quickly corrected themselves and said “she.”

Photo credit: National Geographic Channel
Photo credit: National Geographic Channel

By the second night of classes, problems during the day between “studs,” as these inmates are known, and their “girlfriends” and other inmates had necessitated moving prisoners from one group to another within the school. As a result, the configuration of the classroom groups has changed.  Once the inmates who were having disagreements were separated, everyone got down to work for the most part, and I now have students in my classroom working on all subjects including Social Studies, English, Science, and Math.

In 2011, Lee Arrendale Prison was featured in an hour-long episode of a documentary television series called Hard Time, produced by the National Geographic Channel.  This clip, which is just under five minutes long, is from the episode titled “World Without Men” and features a young woman who chose to become a “stud.”


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5 Comments Add yours

    1. And quite an eye-opener to some of the teachers!



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Megan Hardy says:

    Your blog is incredibly fascinating. I had no idea you went on to teaching in a prison after Brenau. Hope all is well. I loved your class my only year there.

    Megan Hardeman Hardy class of 2004


    1. Wow! Thank you, Megan! How wonderful to hear from you! When Brenau Academy closed I taught at Lakeview Academy for a year and then quit teaching full time to help take care of my mother who had cancer. I helped take care of her during the day and taught online for Brenau University and part time at an evening high school for at-risk students. It was as part of the faculty of the evening high school (Mountain Education Charter High School) that I was asked to set up the school in the prison. By that time my mom had passed away. I’m not teaching at all anymore because my husband had a major stroke a year ago, and now I’m taking care of him at home. I hope you are doing well. It really is nice to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

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