Two women fight against MDOC's no photograph policy


PINE BELT, Miss. - Two Mississippi women are raising awareness on Mississippi Department of Corrections' no photograph policy to make a positive change for inmates and their families.

The women coined themselves "prison wives" and are encouraging people to sign their petition. Jennifer Bynum, a soon-to-be wife to an inmate said, “I started a petition because I wanted to take a picture at my wedding, which is not going to happen, but I would like for it to happen for, other people in the future, if at all possible.”

Bynum's partner in crime Stephanie Martin said, “We don’t want a photo every time we come to visit, a couple of times a year.”

Bynum said her soon to be step-daughter is 13 years old and has never taken a picture with her dad. “I was hoping by the time she got to go visit him, which she will be able to go home and take a picture with her daddy" added Bynum.

Both Bynum and Martin said they encounter people who are against their mission because the inmates have done something "wrong" and do not deserve "good".

“There are so many children, that have not taken pictures with their families, with their dads, and their moms, and they deserve that" said Bynum.

She added, "I am not saying that the inmates deserve it, I am not doing it for the inmates, I am doing it for their families."

The petition is small in numbers, but slowly growing and both women say they are not asking for much.

“But to have a picture, you know to remember that day, the day that I remembered him, and to have to bring home to his mom, I think that would mean a lot, to a lot more than just me" Bynum said.

Martin said family time and memories are part of the rehabilitation process.

“My husband is part of my family, photos is a share family, anybody that is not incarcerated, that is how they keep their family together is by taking photos, at Christmas or a family gathering" Martin said.

She continued, "And whenever I visit my husband, that is my family gathering, and I would like to have a photo.”

Although both slowly accept, MDOC will not do anything soon, they said they will continue to stay strong with their mission.

“I do not cry in front of him because it just makes it harder for him to know that it just upsets me" said Martin.

Bynum added, “I am not asking for any major thing, it is just a picture, just a picture.”

FOX 23 reached out to MDOC they said they were not aware of an online petition and they stand firm on their no photograph policy.

You can click here to learn more about the petition.

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