Why I Support Women’s Prison Association
Raising Awareness About Women in Jail
Addiction brings you to the darkest places. One of this places is the prison. At one point in my life, I was alone and desperate and got arrested. I felt like there is no hope for me. But I was wrong and eventually, I got better. I support Women’s Prison Association because I want other women who feel like I used to feel to know that it’s not over for them. There’s so much more to life than suffering and prison. There’s new life and with life comes hope.
While I’m writing this, there are 200,000 women in prison or jail in the US. This number was increased over 750% in the last 30 years. And just like with men, detention rate for women reflects tremendous racial disparities. This means that one of every 100 black women in the US is now incarcerated, which is nearly three times the rate for women overall.
Women’s Prison Association represents over 4000 women in New York prisons and city jails. These women are usually poor and women of color who were arrested for drug-related or property crimes. Nearly 85% of them are there for non-violent offenses and few have a history of sustained legal employment. Yet these are all strong and resilient women who do everything in their power to overcome the challenges and create a better life for themselves and their children.
At WPA, we promote alternatives to imprisonment and help women living in the community to avoid arrest by making positive changes in their lives before it’s too late. We also provide support to women inside prisons and jails and we’re also a resource to them as they plan for release. I know the feeling of hopelessness because I was there once too. That’s why at WPA we help women achieve what’s most important to them.
This support includes finding safe and affordable housing, preparing for job interviews and obtaining employment, reuniting with their children, living safe and law-abiding lives, accessing addiction, health, and mental health services, gaining peer support from other women, learning household budgeting and skills for daily life.
How to Support Women’s Prison Association
There are many ways to support WPA. One of them is in kind donations. WPA is accepting new toiletry items, diapers of any size and kitchenware. We’re currently not accepting clothing. Also, due to the sensitive nature of our work, we frequently change the list of our current needs. But the most important thing is that you can always join us in the fight to support women. If you’d like to become our supporter, see how you can get involved here.