As an organization founded and led by a woman who was previously incarcerated, we understand the importance of celebrating all of the beautiful, strong, intelligent, creative, and innovative justice-impacted women in this world. Even with insurmountable odds against them, they continue to rise and persevere.
The numbers don't lie. 1.9 million women released from prisons and jails every year have high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. As most women are the sole caregivers of their children, criminal justice involvement and imprisonment have devastating impacts on the maternal-child bond with long-lasting implications.
The history and continued rising rates of female incarceration in this country reflect perplexing social trends and unveils a criminal legal system that exploits the poor and vulnerable, emphasizes law enforcement and punishment over treatment for substance use, and reflects society's misogyny and throw-away attitudes towards women living in poverty and dealing with mental illness. Incarcerating women ignores these social and psychological forces that often underlie the issues that land women in prison, including high rates of lifetime exposure to cumulative trauma, physical and sexual victimization, untreated mental illness, the use of substances to manage distress, and behavioral choices that arise in conjunction with gross economic disparities.
We strive to empower women around the world by providing not only a platform to elevate the stories of justice-impacted women but also to deepen the public perception and conversation and provide resources for housing, food, healthcare, living wage employment, entrepreneurship opportunities, education, and advocacy that amplifies the voices of those who have been impacted by the criminal legal system!