ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Women and Prison project is a website, installation + zine created entirely from the work + lives of America's incarcerated women. Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance is a project of Beyondmedia Education. Learn more about the project.
NEWS FROM THE WEB
Mar 30, 2013
Clemency for woman convicted in husband’s death
A woman supported by the Illinois Clemcy Project who spent more than 26 years in prison for the murder of her allegedly abusive husband was freed Friday after being granted clemency by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Wellesley Centers for Women releases report highlighting the inequities women face in prison and the broader social and community impact of arresting, detaining, sentencing, supervising, and imprisoning women.
Protesters called for improved conditions inside the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla where the inmate population is at 187 percent of its designed capacity.
FROM THE STORE
Women and Prison Promotional Poster
Writers’ Block: Stories from the Inside
Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM) is a not-for-profit agency founded in 1985 to help women prisoners and their children maintain contact. They provide legal and educational services to maintain the bonds between imprisoned mothers and their children. CLAIM advocates for policies and programs that benefit families of imprisoned mothers and reduce incarceration of women and girls.
The following is an excerpt from their guide for caregivers of children whose parents have been arrested or are incarcerated.
Learn more about CLAIM's mission and services here.
Excerpt—Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives From Women’s Prisons
and Robin Levi
Sarah Chase’s narrative is one of the oral histories that appears in the forthcoming book Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons. Edited by Ayelet Waldman and Robin Levi, Inside This Place will be available in stores in October 2011 from Voice of Witness. The ninth title in the Voice of Witness series, Inside This Place reveals some of the most egregious human rights violations within women’s prisons in the United States. In their own words, the thirteen narrators in this book recount their lives leading up to incarceration and their experiences inside—ranging from forced sterilization and shackling during childbirth, to physical and sexual abuse by prison staff. Together, their testimonies illustrate the harrowing struggles for survival that women in prison must endure.
To learn more about the Voice of Witness book series and oral history projects, go here.
To pre-order Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons, visit the McSweeney's Store
This letter to God reveals the frustrations, pain, and social stigma involved in not only being incarcerated when one’s civil rights are being violated, but also the struggle of living with the challenges of being a “convicted felon” in this society. In a format written directly to God “Himself,” the letter communicates the author’s conclusion that no human power can rectify the horrific racism and discrimination embedded in the incarceration system today.
Crazy case in Ohio, where a 40-year-old single mother lied about the residency of her children in order to get the kids into a better public school. Kelley Williams-Bolar claimed her kids lived with their grandfather rather than with her in Akron. Instead of merely transferring the kids back to the bad school, local officials instead decided to charge Williams-Bolar with two felonies, claiming that by enrolling her kids in the better school, she defrauded taxpayers of more than $30,000.
In the following words and images, Jenni Fagan examines the connections between the scold’s bridle and contemporary incarceration practices that deny women in prison the right to speak. She not only reveals that conditions faced by incarcerated women in the UK and US today mirror the torture endured by women in early modern Europe, but also illustrates the potential for change.