What is the Women in Prison Project?

One of four projects at the Correctional Association of New York (CA), the Women in Prison Project was created in 1991 and is dedicated to: (1) creating a criminal justice system that addresses women’s specific needs, protect women’s rights and treat people and their families with fairness, dignity and respect; (2) ensuring that prison conditions for women are humane and just; (3) stopping the misuse of prison as a response to the social problems that drive crime; and (4) facilitating the involvement and leadership of currently and formerly incarcerated women in efforts to reform policies that directly affect their lives.

Under the CA’s legislative mandate, the Project has the unique authority to monitor conditions inside correctional facilities that house women in New York State. The Project also manages ReConnect, a semi-annual leadership training program for women recently released from prison and jail, and coordinates the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide alliance of more than 1,600 individuals and over 100 organizations dedicated to changing the criminal justice system for women and families. The project carries out its mission through a range of integrated and strategic initiatives including prison monitoring, policy advocacy, research and report writing, public education, coalition-building, community organizing, and leadership development.