Women in Prison Project
Utilizing the CA’s unique legislative mandate, the CA’s Women in Prison Project (WIPP) monitors conditions inside New York State prisons York that house women. WIPP is the only project of its kind in the United States that carries out this type of work inside women’s correctional facilities. The CA’s Prison Visiting Project monitors conditions in prisons that house men.
The Project carries out its monitoring activities with expert visiting teams and using gender-specific information-gathering tools. Each visit takes the form of field research: full-day—sometimes multiple-day–on-site assessments during which a team of CA staff and board members, medical and mental health professionals with particular expertise in women’s health, formerly incarcerated people, advocates, criminal justice experts, and concerned individuals branch out to all corners of the prison to record observations and collect data.
The main focus of the Project’s monitoring efforts is currently completion and publication of State Reproductive Healthcare in Women’s Prisons, a comprehensive report on women’s healthcare in New York’s correctional facilities, and State of HIV and Hepatitis C Care in Women’s Prisons, an analysis of HIV and hepatitis services, programs and care for women in state custody. These ground-breaking reports – the first of their kind in the country – will analyze systemic trends and present recommendations for improvements.
The Project receives and responds to dozens of letters from incarcerated women each year. Women write with concerns about housing and physical plant conditions, treatment from staff, health care, mental health services, programs and staying connected to children, and with requests for information about services available to them in the community after their release from prison. The Project offers resources, support, information and updates about its policy reform work and how women can get involved in the Project’s efforts after they come home.
A recent report by the Prisoner Reentry Institute of John Jay College (PRI), “Women InJustice: Gender and the Pathway to Jail in New York City,” is the latest study point out that that physical and sexual trauma and abuse histories are a significant root cause for women and girls’ involvement in the criminal legal system. Read More
This story is the seventh piece in the Truthout series, Severed Ties: The Human Toll of Prisons. This series dives deeply into the impact of incarceration on families, loved ones and communities, demonstrating how the United States' incarceration of more than 2 million people also harms many millions more -- including 2.7 million children. Most [...]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
Watch the Correctional Association’s video about the barbaric – and illegal – shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth. In 2009 New York enacted a statute restricting the use of shackles on women during childbirth. The law bans outright the use of restraints on women throughout labor, delivery and recovery “after giving birth,” which is meant [...]Read More