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Women in Prison Project

Prison monitoring

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.