Women in Prison Project
Created in 1991, the CA’s Women in Prison Project (WIPP) works to reduce the use of incarceration for women, ensure that prison conditions for women are as humane and just as possible, and create a criminal justice system that treats women and all people with fairness, dignity and justice.
WIPP’s work is guided by the principle that individuals directly affected by prison policies should be active participants and leaders in reform efforts. To this end, WIPP runs ReConnect, a leadership training program for formerly incarcerated women recently home from prison or jail, and offers a wide range of opportunities for program graduates and other formerly incarcerated women to become involved in the Project’s activities.
WIPP also coordinates the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide alliance of formerly incarcerated women and other advocates working to make the criminal justice system more responsive to the rights and needs of women and their families. In partnership with the Coalition, WIPP carries out a strategic program to advocate for key policy and legislative reforms. WIPP’s main policy campaigns center on advancing reproductive justice for incarcerated women and transforming the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence survivors who act to protect themselves.
Utilizing the CA’s unique legislative mandate to monitor prisons, WIPP conducts visits to and reports on conditions in New York State correctional facilities that house women. In addition to reporting on prison conditions, WIPP produces in-depth policy reports and a broad range of other advocacy materials, including fact sheets, briefing papers, and videos to support its policy agenda. WIPP also engages in community organizing, conducts public education and works with the media to raise awareness about critical issues facing incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.
Explore our issue areas:
- Women and the criminal justice system
- Survivors of abuse and incarceration
- Families and incarceration
- HIV and healthcare in prison
(August 26, 2018) New York Times: The inmates at North Carolina’s Hyde Correctional Institution hung three banners from the prison fence last week as supporters gathered outside. One sign asked for better food; another requested parole; the third said, “In solidarity.” The protest came in support of a nationwide prisoner strike to call attention to the low inmate wages, decrepit facilities and harsh sentences that organizers say plague prison populations across the country. Read More
I am responding to a recent editorial in the Enterprise along with an opinion piece about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) recent comments about the American penal system. Although her remarks appear controversial to many, they have unfortunately detracted from a major and very real issue with the U.S. justice and penal system.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 the negative impact of mass incarceration and mass criminalization on women.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 them with food to supplement prison meals.Read More