News from the Web

Teresa Lewis will die by lethal injection on Thursday unless an appeal to the supreme court can save her.

By Donna Iadipaolo, Special Writer In the 1980s, University of Michigan professor William "Buzz" Alexander introduced a powerful theater exercise to Peruvian shanty-town peasants. In 1990, he and two of his U of M guerilla theater students conducted that same exercise with two women prisoners at Florence Crane Correctional Facility in Coldwater.
Alexander identifies this exercise as a pivotal point in the start of PCAP, the Prison Creative Arts Project, having since performed 528 plays, 200 readings, and countless workshops in Michigan prisons, juvenile facilities and urban highs schools.

Women in chains no more. The Pennsylvania Prison Society is celebrating a new law which bans the shackling of pregnant female inmates during labor.

LAND O' LAKES, FL - Deep within the Land O' Lakes Jail, past multiple layers of secure steel doors, Janice Banther pressed a Doppler instrument to Amanda Schlemmermeyer's belly so the pregnant inmate could hear her baby's heartbeat. Janice is a volunteer from a doula program that has served women at the jail since 2001. The doula's role is to provide physical, emotional and informational support, and that includes accompanying an inmate to the hospital to give birth. The doulas also monitor inmates afterward for post-partum depression, which is especially a concern for women who must return to jail while someone else cares for the child.

New legislation allows the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to create pilot programs to reduce the rate of female incarceration in Oklahoma.

Tonight in New South Wales, more than 700 women will spend the night behind bars. At the Emu Plains Correctional Centre in western Sydney, some of those women will have their children in custody with them.
The women's and children's program at the jail has been operating since the late 1990's. And now, the minimum security complex has started a new program to help women there maintain a link with their children on the outside.

Aug 05, 2010

Voice of Witness


Author Ayelet Waldman is working on a book in theVoice of Witness series. Founded by Dave Eggers, the series uses the medium of oral history to depict human rights crises around the globe. The volume I'm co-editing, with Robin Levi of Justice Now, a human rights organization for women in prison, and Rebecca Silbert, a former Federal Public Defender, is a collection of narratives from imprisoned and formerly imprisoned women across the U.S. who have suffered violations of their human rights.

A former state corrections officer was placed on probation Thursday for having sex with inmates at the women's prison in East Topeka after the judge told him he would have found himself in prison had the crimes occurred after July 1 when a beefed-up state statute went into effect.