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
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
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The union representing New York correction officers says new security methods are needed to reduce the amount of contraband smuggled into state prisons, while prison officials say more prohibited items are being seized than ever before. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said this week that the number of incidents involving contraband at the state’s 54 prisons more than doubled over the last decade, from 2,540 incidents in 2008 to 5,231 incidents last year.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 at rates above the national average and in a racially disparate manner.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