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.


Feb 07, 2014
B.C. won’t appeal court ruling to let babies to serve time with their incarcerated moms

The B.C. government has decided not to appeal a court ruling that allows babies to remain with their incarcerated mothers.

Feb 06, 2014
HRW report documents abuses suffered by Iraqi women in prison

Iraqi authorities detain thousands of Iraqi women, subjecting them to torture and mistreatment, including threats of sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch said.

Feb 05, 2014
Outrageous Abuses Reported at Hawaii Prison

A male prison warden filmed his "public sexual shamings" in which female inmates had to disclose their "rape, childhood sexual abuse ... sexual preferences [and] sexual deviations," while he called them "whores" in front of male inmates, a woman claims in a federal class action.


Women and Prison Promotional Poster

$20.00 | A beautiful full color hand screenprinted poster designed by Firebelly Design. More details

Writers’ Block: Stories from the Inside

$10.00 | Writers' Block: Stories from the Inside, a 36-page zine, is a compilation of deeply personal narratives, visceral creative writing and provocative scholarly essay taken from Beyondmedia's Women and Prison website. Printed in full color. More details

Newest Stories

Caring for Children When a Parent is Arrested: A Guide to Legal Options & Resources
by Gail T. Smith


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
by Ayelet Waldman 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

Cooking in Prison: From the Big House to Your House
by C.Bina, T. Cornelius, B.Holder, C. Johnson, T. Kemmerer, L.Larson


From The Big House To Your House has two hundred easy to prepare recipes for meals, snacks, and desserts. Written by six women incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, TX, these recipes can be made from items available in a prison commissary or a convenience store. 

Featured Stories

If Only I Can Tell My Story!
by Wenona Thompson


A poem by the late, great Wenona Thompson.

You’ll Stick With Your Crappy School, and You’ll Like It
by Radley Balko


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.

The Scold’s Bridle: Alternative Publishing via Political Art
by Jenni Fagan


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.

Fighting the “Labia Lift”
by Krystal Voss


Colorado prisoner Krystal Voss tells about the invasive strip search policy at the Denver Women’s Correctional Center. During routine strip searches, women are required to spread their labia to allow staff to search for contraband.