Alternatives to Incarceration for Women

ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION FOR WOMEN

Alternatives to incarceration explored
The United States has one of the highest, most expensive, and fastest growing incarceration rates in the world. In this new video interview, Erika Kates , Ph.D., senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women, discusses the impact incarceration can have on women’s physical health, emotional well-being, family life, and economic stability. She also shares some effective alternatives to incarceration, such as women-centered counseling and pre-trial probation.

Kates and Crystal An, M.A., project assistant, worked over the last few years with a diverse group of policymakers, advocates, and administrators in Massachusetts on three action-oriented research projects. These projects were designed to draw attention to the special circumstances of women involved with criminal justice agencies, highlight women-centered resources, and suggest more cost-effective policies and practices. A series of fact sheets summarizing this work have been produced and are now available online.

Learn more about this project at  www.wcwonline.org/womensjusticenetwork.

The Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network
Ongoing since 2011
Project Directors: Erika Kates, Ph.D.
Funder: The Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation

The Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network (MWJN) will continue and extend the work of two previous Shaw-funded initiatives: the Women in Prison Coalition (2009-2010), identifying promising gender-responsive, community-based programs for women offenders in Massachusetts, and the Reentry and Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) project (2010-2011), exploring alternatives to incarceration for women in Massachusetts. The current project will create a Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network to implement the recommendations of the 2011 report, and develop a model program for women at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. The MWJN will continue the Wellesley Centers for Women tradition of undertaking action-oriented research designed to improve women’s lives, by highlighting the continuing inequities affecting women offenders, building a broad constituency of support for justice concerns, and exploring alternative, more cost-effective approaches to incarceration. The MWJN will draw on the knowledge and expert support gained through previous projects and work towards establishing a MWJN Center that will move its current resources and activities to the next level.

Gender & Justice Project on Female Offenders: Fact Sheets
In 2009-2012, Kates and Crystal An, M.A., Project Assistant, worked with a diverse group of policymakers, advocates and administrators on three action-oriented research projects. These projects were designed to draw attention to the special circumstances of women involved with criminal justice agencies, highlight women-centered resources, and suggest more cost-effective policies and practices. Click here to view all the Fact Sheets that summarize this work.

Fact Sheet 1:
Women-Centered Training for Practitioners Working With Female Offenders

Fact Sheet 2:
Risk-Needs Assessments Appropriate for Women Offenders

Fact Sheet 3:
Review of Massachusetts Corrections Master Plan (CMP): Focus on Women

Fact Sheet 4:
Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI): Promising Practices for Women in Massachusetts

Fact Sheet 5:
A Strategic Plan for Alternatives to Incarceration for Women: Lessons from Abroad

Fact Sheet 6:
Promising Gender-Responsive, Community-Based Programs for Women Offenders in MA 

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