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Oklahoma Incarcerates More Women Than Any Country on Earth

Yousef Khanfar's portraits of some of them

Photographer Yousef Khanfar traveled to prisons throughout Oklahoma, which has the highest incarceration rate for women per capita in the world, photographing female prisoners—some alone, some with their visiting children. After the photo shoot, Khanfar asked each woman to write a few words of advice for younger generations, and documented their lives in the new book Invisible Eve (Rizzoli).  

Yousef Khanfar
Casi Murray, 4 years, uttering a forged instrument.
"I put men before anything. I thought they were my everything. Now I am in prison with nothing. Stop and think, what really is your everything?"

Yousef Khanfar

Lana Lemus, 10 years, forgery II, possession of drug proceeds, distribution and conpsiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

"Is there peace in your heart? Growing up and feeling alone, turning to drugs and men to fill that void. Never knew I'd be in a crowded prison so alone, and I never knew that peace was there in my heart all along."


Yousef Khanfar

Angela Flurry, 13 years, uttering a forged document.

"Do you want to live with fear or do you want to hold your loved ones near? There is nothing like leaving the ones you love most because you would rather have a shot of dope. Your kids' hopes, dreams, and lives were nothing to you, just a joke. Missing their first laugh, steps, words, looking at them from behind glass."

Yousef Khanfar
Samaiyah Gipson, 6 months, possession of a controlled dangerous substance within 2000 feet of a park.
"Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself."

Yousef Khanfar
Stacy Anderson, 10 years, attempting to obtain a controlled dangerous substance by fraud.
"The smile you see is rare, because I live with guilt daily. The time that is lost is gone forever, replaced with a hardened heart that comes from life experienced beyond razor wire fences."

Yousef Khanfar

Monida Sutter (mother); Victoria Fattig (daughter). 9 years; 6 years. Endeavoring to manufacture controlled dangerous substance; Possession of controlled dangerous substance.

"What a role model. What a mother. What a great example I was. It let my daughter to me. To her mother. In prison. What an example."

Yousef Khanfar.
Randi Ott, 5 years, Assault and battery upon police officer.
"In the beginning, alcohol is fun and games. But in the end it's nothing but pain; blackouts, violence, and jail. So think about how far you want to go before that first drink."

Yousef Khanfar
Janet West, 8 years, receiving, possessing, concealing stolen property, prisoner placing body fluids on government employee.
"When there seems to be no light at the end of your tunnel, reach out to someone you love and trust. Drugs have ruined my life. It's taken my kids, my family, and my love away. Scars, bruises, sorrows, I never want my kids to endure. Think of your choices you make in life, because you're not the only one who pays the price."