Barbara Baumgartner, Associate Director of the Prison Education Project, has received a Gephardt Institute Civic Engagement Fund: St. Louis Project Grant to host a full-day symposium on women and the criminal justice system.
Race, class, and gender are intersecting issues in our community, and while race and class have been receiving more attention in recent months, the contributing role that gender plays has not received as much scrutiny. The ways that race, class, and gender impact women in the criminal justice system will be the focus of this symposium, which will increase the awareness of these issues.
This symposium will allow the Washington University community, as well as correctional and parole officers and people from local organizations who offer services to previously incarcerated individuals, to become more informed about the ways in which mass incarceration policies impact the St. Louis community, to learn about the gendered aspects of serving time and the challenges faced upon release, and to hear about various local agencies that provide services for formerly incarcerated women and learn about ways in which participants can get involved.
The symposium will take place on September 30th. To view more details about the event, click here.
History of Women’s Incarceration
This symposium, “Gender Impacts: Women and the Criminal Justice System,” will be co-sponsored by The Washington University Prison Education Project, Let’s Start, Center for Women in Transition, and Connections to Success.
While the Prison Education Project only teaches male inmates at the moment, as a co-sponsor, PEP is interested in the ways in which incarceration impacts women and their families.
The Center for Women in Transition (CWIT) provides housing, life skills, substance abuse counseling, and other assistance to women who have recently been released from prison.
Let’s Start offers assistance to the families of incarcerated women. They provide monthly bus trips that transport children of incarcerated women to the two women’s prisons in Missouri (100 and 250 miles from St. Louis), allowing children to regularly visit their mothers and maintain valuable friendships. Let’s Start also offers a free weekly support group for women, for those who have been incarcerated and for those who struggle with substance abuse. Let’s Start also offers counseling services for children, legal assistance for women who are trying to regain custody of their children, parenting sessions, and legislative advocacy for prison and sentencing reform.
Connections to Success is an organization that targets people in poverty and provides them with support and tools to become economically independent.