“Getting Out” Benefit Reading a Success
The Women in Prison Project’s June 9th benefit reading of Marsha Norman’s outstanding play, Getting Out, directed by Bob Balaban, was a great success. More than 450 people attended the reading at the John Jay College Theater. In addition to raising funds, the event served as an important and moving public education effort, dramatically illustrating the issues facing formerly incarcerated women returning home from prison. We extend deep thanks to all those who so generously gave time and resources to make the event possible: Marsha Norman, Bob Balaban, cast members Halle Feiffer, Danny Glover, Sarah Jones, Chad Lowe, Mercedes Ruehl, Roy Scheider, Hilary Swank and all other performers, producer Kathy Engel, coordinator Barbara Brancaccio, former Women in Prison Project Director Julie Kowitz, former Women in Prison Project Associate Dara Orenstein, ReConnect Program Coordinator Denisse Andrade, the CA staff and board, the formerly incarcerated women who attended the production and inspired us with their courage and strength, and everyone else who heped make the night possible.
We believe that art is an essential component of our work: it can effectively communicate the realities of the criminal justice system and the stories of those bound up in that system. Historically it is often art, telling the stories of people’s experiences, that moves people to action and deepens understanding of critical social issues.
With this in mind, we recently began the process of developing an Artists Advisory Council at the CA. Working on Getting Out made clear how powerful an effort of this kind can be and how much enthusiasm exists among artists to support our work. We sent a letter to all Getting Out participants inviting them to join the Artists Advisory Council. With Marsha Norman and Sarah Jones agreeing to act as Council Co-Chairs, we’re on our way to creating an effective ongoing artists program at the CA.
Coalition for Women Prisoners Applauds Governor Cuomo for Inclusion of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act in 2019 Executive Budget
(January 18, 2019, NY): The Coalition for Women Prisoners applauds Governor Cuomo for his support of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA). The inclusion of the DVSJA in the Governor’s 2019 executive budget is an enormously important development and a key step towards achieving justice for criminalized survivors of domestic violence.Read More
On the morning of April 13, 2015, a guard at Sullivan Correctional Facility, a New York State maximum-security prison nestled deep in the woods of the western Catskills, ordered a prisoner named Karl Taylor to clean his cell. By all accounts, the cell, in the prison’s E North housing block—a special unit for inmates classified [...]Read More
“Prison Within Prison: Voices of Women Held In Isolated Confinement in New York” is a collection of oral and visual observations from twenty women about their experiences being held in isolated confinement in New York’s women’s prisons and Rikers Island. They are advocates and leaders on a range of issues in the movement to end [...]Read More
WOMEN AND ISOLATED CONFINEMENT Women held in isolated confinement are subjected to dehumanizing treatment—treatment that makes it difficult for them to maintain their dignity, hygiene, nutrition and personal property. They can get in trouble for something as simple as attempting to talk to the person next to them. They are denied commissary privileges which provide [...]Read More