New report finds clear link between domestic violence and women’s incarceration
A new report from the Correctional Association finds that domestic violence and women’s incarceration are inextricably linked.
- Nine of ten women in New York’s prisons report being survivors of abuse
- 75% have endured severe intimate partner violence during adulthood.
- 93% of women incarcerated in NY for killing an intimate partner were abused by an intimate partner in the past.
The report, co-authored by the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, finds that survivors who act to protect themselves face myriad barriers to justice, including:
- overly restrictive mandatory sentencing statutes
- limited access to alternative-to-incarceration programs (ATIs)
- restrictions on merit time and work release programs in prison
- obstacles to making parole and receiving clemency.
As a result, women who have survived years of life-shattering abuse are routinely sent to prison for acting to protect themselves and their children. They are often locked up for long periods of time, with very little chance for early release.
A central report recommendation is the enactment of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, which would:
- establish an ameliorative, alternate sentencing statute for survivors convicted of crimes directly related to the abuse they suffered, and allow judges to send survivor-defendants to either significantly shorter prison terms than those allowed under current law or to probation and ATIs instead of prison, and
- allow survivors who are currently serving long sentences for crimes directly related to their abuse to apply to the courts for resentencing and earlier release.
This bill would be a significant step in continuing New York’s efforts to combat the epidemic of domestic violence and in addressing the long-standing injustices facing survivor-defendants across the state.
Correctional Association of New York releases “Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Assn.’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
New York, NY (December 13, 2017): Today The Correctional Assn. of NY (CA), founded in 1844 and one of the oldest prison watchdog organizations in the country, released a 92-page report providing graphic first-hand depictions of physical, mental, and emotional abuse as a result of days, weeks, and often years of being caged in solitary confinement for 23 to 24 hours a day.Read More
Southport Correctional Facility is one of two super-maximum security prisons in the state that places an emphasis on solitary confinement. A new report looking at the facility’s practices is highlighting the negative impact solitary confinement can have on a human. So advocates are making a renewed push for the HALT Act. Joining us to talk [...]Read More
“Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Association’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
“The isolation itself is torture. Mentally and emotionally, it breaks you down. Spiritually it strips you. The way it is built is to break you down as a person and push your family away.” From “Solitary at Southport” Solitary confinement is torture. New York State subjects people to solitary confinement and other forms of isolation [...]Read More
Under unique statutory authority granted to the CA in 1846, WIPP monitors conditions in women’s prisons in New York, a role played by no other group in the country. WIPP coordinates the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide alliance of more than 1,800 people, and carries out advocacy campaigns to reform harmful criminal justice policies. [...]Read More