NYC Anarchist Book Fair 2010
Women in Prison: Improve Their Lives, Not the System
Saturday, April 17
Judson Memorial Church
Despite the growing numbers of women in prison, discussions about prison abolition largely focus on the incarcerated male. Conversations about prison abolition often do not address the fact that there are over two million people currently behind bars who need immediate, tangible changes in order to survive. Conversely, many conversations about immediate prison reform (such as the recent lobbying in NYC to build separate jail housing for GLBTI pre-trial detainees) do not consider how proposed reforms could work to expand and strengthen the prison-industrial complex.
This workshop will challenge people to consider how imprisonment is a gendered experience, to look closely at the issues that affect incarcerated women, and to find ways to do concrete support work for those inside while not inadvertently expanding or strengthening the prison system. We will also discuss concrete ways (both big and small) that outside people, especially those dedicated to resisting and abolishing the prison-industrial complex, can provide meaningful support to women who are struggling inside.
Victoria Law is a writer, photographer, zinester and mother. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars – New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations, culminating in her book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. She is also involved with ABC No Rio, a community arts center on the Lower East Side.
ABC No Rio
Books Through Bars
Tenacious: a zine of Art & Writings by Women in Prison