WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an exclusive interview, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) Storytelling Director Kelsey Bolar and IWF Ambassador Amie Ichikawa joined The Megyn Kelly Show to discuss IWF’s new exclusive documentary series, Cruel & Unusual Punishment: The Male Takeover of Female Prisons. The multi-episode series sounds the alarm on the harrowing consequences of prison policies that allow male offenders—including convicted sex offenders—to declare themselves “women” and be housed with females.

“This is absolute madness. This is not fair, and it’s definitely not safe. Again, people need to do something about this. The first thing you can do is watch the docu-series, get yourself up to speed on what is actually happening–all of the predictions have come true, that’s basically where we are,” said Megyn Kelly on The Megyn Kelly Show. 

Formerly incarcerated woman at the Central California Women’s Facility, Amie Ichikawa has bravely come forward to share her experience after Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 132 into law, making California ground zero for male integration into women’s prisons. IWF’s documentary mini series, co-produced by Kelsey Bolar, exposes the dangers of such policies inside the correctional world, from exclusive interviews with several female inmates, insiders and whistleblowers. 

“Now we have an exclusive look into a new docu-series by the Independent Women’s Forum that is sounding the alarm on the dire consequences of allowing trans-identifying biological males into female prisons. These are men who claim they are women and get into female prisons not withstanding whatever their history is and whatever they did to get them into prison,” Megyn Kelly said.



“The culture that is being brought into the women’s facilities from the men’s institutions is nothing like women are used to being around or familiar with on any level. Women are not separated by crime level, security level, race, gang affiliation, anything like that. But the men’s facilities are highly segregated like that for safety purposes, so when someone comes from the men’s institution, they bring that type of politics into the women’s environment,” Ichikawa shared on The Megyn Kelly Show. “It’s not anything that I think anyone could really be equipped to deal with or prepare themselves to wade through.” 


“For those of us in the free world, it’s hard to imagine what this living space looks and feels like, but these women are in very tight quarters, and now with biological men – where they are sharing bunkbeds with these individuals. I’ll never forget one line really stuck with me that women are climbing up their bunk in their nightgowns, with a male sitting in bed beneath them – a fully intact male. They are sharing showers and toilets, very intimate facilities with biological men,” Bolar added. 


“Many women are serving life sentences behind killing their attackers, their abusers. Ninety percent of incarcerated women in California are battered and beaten, and now they’re continuing to be battered and beaten. So the PTSD that everyone is recovering from is now morphing into complex PTSD, and the symptoms are being felt widespread. It’s like a contagion at this point. They’re encouraged to just put their heads down and get over it. If they seek mental health services, they’re told that they need to stop being transphobic,” Ichikawa said. “There is no respite from this, they have no resources, there’s no one to even talk to. I can feel it through the phone calls on a daily basis how desperate and limited they’re starting to feel. It’s like the walls are closing in on them.”   


“Women across the board are just being erased. They don’t have a voice in this. We hope to change that because they absolutely need to be heard. They are being harmed both mentally and physically everyday by these policies. It’s absolutely disgusting, some of the fallout that they’re faced with every single day by having biological men in such tight quarters with them,” Bolar shared on The Megyn Kelly Show


As more states allow biological men who identify as women into women’s prisons, few are aware of the ugly fallout. Women with histories of trauma and domestic abuse are forced to share their most private and intimate spaces with intact males – many of whom are violent, sexual predators serving time for heinous crimes.

Allowing male offenders to reside in women’s prisons is dangerous and unfair. Put simply, it’s cruel and unusual punishment. These stories stand as a testament to why biological sex matters, especially in institutional settings. Incarcerated women need and DESERVE female-only spaces. Anything less is a violation of their most basic human rights.

The eradication of single-sex prisons is harming female inmates.

Watch the series trailer HERE

Direct media inquiries and booking requests to [email protected]

To book Kelsey Bolar or Amie Ichikawa for interview, please email [email protected].

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.