Two percent of inmates at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women are pregnant, and even though they represent a minority, they are still women in need of specialized services, as Ashely Brown was quick to learn. Incarcerated at 26 for a probation violation after a 2009 robbery conviction, Brown was arrested in Nov. 2016 for…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis Prisoners at the maximum-security Indiana Women’s Prison have undertaken a remarkable feat – conducting and presenting their own original research on the history of the 143-year-old prison. While funding was cut for non-vocational education programs in Indiana in 2011, volunteer instructors have still been teaching as part of the Higher Education Program,…Read More
When it comes to the school-to-prison pipeline in America, a thought-provoking book by a prominent U.S. author and justice advocate sheds startling insights into an often-overlooked segment of our broken justice system – the discrimination against black girls. Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris spotlights a group that is…Read More
Prison education advocacy is coming from an unlikely country: Lebanon. The country is generally only on America’s radar for its assistance in the conflict against ISIL and a fractured and complex internal political state. But despite the beleaguered state of the nation at the moment, the Minister has seen fit to prioritize the rehabilitation of prison populations.…Read More
State and Federal Prisoners: There were 113,000 women offenders incarcerated in state and federal facilities in 2010 compared to 1,500,000 male inmates.The growth in the female incarcerated population was 2.2 percent since 2,000. The growth in the male incarcerated population was 1.6 percent since 2,000.Male inmates had an incarceration rate 14 times higher than females.Black…Read More
By Gabe Joselow At a women’s prison in Nairobi, Kenyan inmates are taking the law into their own hands. Law classes have helped inmates launch their own appeals and defend themselves in court. In a classroom behind bars, three inmates and a prison officer learn the basics of the common law. Inmate Rose Musyoki said…Read More
The women of Topeka Correctional Facility in Topeka, Kansas are an interesting sort. While some sweep, mop, wipe down tables, or engage in wholesale janitorial work assignments, a special group of 8 female prisoners make dentures for low-income patients through an innovative partnership between the Kansas Department of Corrections, Kansas Correctional Industries, and the Southeast Kansas Education Center at Greenbush.
Founded by the Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation, in 2007, the dental technician program employs 8 female prisoners at Topeka Correctional Facility, all of which were specially selected by prison administrators for program placement. These female prisoners make dentures for Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU) patients.
The process is complex. The KAMU clinics make an impression of the patient’s mouth. This impression is then sent to the female prisoner dental technicians at the Topeka Correctional Facility, who create a wax and plastic teeth mold of the impression. This temporary mold is then returned to the KAMU clinic to ensure that the fit is perfect. Once approval is granted, the mold is sent back to the prison, where the female prisoner dental technicians use plastic teeth and hard acrylic to craft the final set of dentures. These are then delivered back to the KAMU clinic for delivery to the eagerly awaiting patients.
The core of the LIFE program addresses self-employment and micro enterprise development for women after they are released from the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Inmate/students are taught skills that can be used in business and self-employment. LIFE helps their students to create productive lives after release and to establish self-sufficiency and economic stability for themselves and their families.
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights is a national legal and policy organization that advocates for public policy reform, justice and dignity for vulnerable families. Their mission is to improve the status of women and girls who may live on the margins of acceptable society. They wish to help train mothers and girls to help educate policymakers for sensible criminal justice, child welfare and economic policy reforms.
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights is helping to improve conditions of confinement for female prisoners and well as improving conditions for pregnant inmates and seeking to provide alternatives to incarceration for mother inmates.
The sound of violins and cellos fills the room with beautiful string music and this coming from a women’s orchestra where many of the players had no previous musical training, and who also happen to be prisoners incarcerated at Hiland Mountain Women’s Correctional Center outside of Anchorage, Alaska.
Founded in 2004 by the nonprofit organization, Arts on the Edge, the Hiland Mountain Women’s Correctional Center Orchestra began as a unique opportunity to see if women inmates would grow as human beings being able to play music as part of a team in an orchestra.