“She’s been with me for nine months”

Three pregnant women in khaki jumpsuits sit in a circle on blue plastic chairs. The florescent lighting of the cafeteria turned classroom buzzes softly in the background and every so often an ice machine lets off the small rumble of an internal avalanche. Correctional...

Not your typical yoga class

Let’s do some free-association here. When I say yoga, what comes immediately to your mind? You might picture a warm space, a mat, maybe a buddha statue or two. My personal memories of yoga classes include the soothing voice of a teacher, a lavender-scented eye...

3 Reasons Women’s Prisons Are Not Like OITNB

It’s the first question I get when people find out I work in a women’s prison: “Is it like Orange is the New Black?” Sometimes the question makes me laugh; sometimes it makes me sigh. The fact is, answering that question is more complicated...

Stories to remember

I’ve spent the past two and a half years volunteering in women’s prisons. When people ask what exactly I do there I answer: “I listen.” Yes, of course I do a lot of other things. Motherhood Beyond Bars has grown exponentially since we began as...

Female Incarceration 101

Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States. According to the Institute on Women and Criminal Justice, female incarceration has grown by a whopping 800% in the past three decades. Most of this increase in imprisoned women is due to...

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