Yesterday, powerhouse leaders from D.C. and around the country joined more than 500 guests at the Justice Action Network’s “Women Unshackled” forum – the first of its kind addressing the explosion in the female prison population. Coverage of the first-ever bipartisan gathering aimed at offering policy recommendations for the unique challenges facing women in prison blanketed national and in-state news following the event.
The forum was livestreamed by Vice News:
Trended nationally on Twitter:
Featured on Snapchat:
And blanketed national and in-state news coverage:
CBS News: Female Incarceration is on the rise
In a rare show of bipartisanship, politicians from both sides of the aisle came together for a meeting on Tuesday focusing on female incarceration hosted by Justice Action Network.
Democratic and Republic officials at a conference Tuesday said too many women are being incarcerated for nonviolent offenses, a troubling trend both groups said they were committed to tackling.
Wall Street Journal: Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin Emerges as Champion of Conservative Criminal Justice Reform
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican and the first female governor in a staunchly conservative state, is emerging as one of the most outspoken champions in her party of overhauling the criminal justice system. At a conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C., on the explosion of the women’s prison population, Ms. Fallin promoted efforts in her state and many others to revamp tough-on-crime laws that contributed to the U.S.’s incarceration rate being the highest in the developed world.
Washington Examiner: Kamala Harris aims to reform bail system
California Sen. Kamala Harris acknowledged the need for criminal justice reform at the congressional level as the Justice Department goes in what she said is a different direction. “Are we smart on crime?” the Democratic darling said during a female incarceration event in Washington on Tuesday. “The answer is not to build more prisons. […] And the answer, [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions, is not to return to relying on mandatory minimum sentences.
Harris, a key speaker at Women Unshackled, an event coordinated by the Justice Action Network, the Brennan Center for Justice and The Coalition for Public Safety, said America should be smart on crime instead of being tough or soft. “The answer is not to build more prisons and the answer is certainly not to privatize those prisons,” she said as the audience erupted in cheers. “And the answer, Jeff Sessions, is not to return to relying on mandatory minimum sentences.”
“The issues are not simple, so the message is not going not be simple,” Harris told Yahoo News in a small gaggle of reporters after she gave a speech at the “Women Unshackled” criminal justice conference Tuesday morning. Harris said Democrats should not have a “monosyllabic” simple slogan, but instead focus on issues that matter to Americans, like jobs, the economy, health care, climate change and criminal justice reform.
Mother Jones: Kamala Harris Went to Prison So Others Won’t Have To
In March, Harris teamed up with colleagues from both parties to reintroduce the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, legislation that would create a top-to-bottom review of the justice system. On Tuesday, speaking at a Justice Action Network event titled “Women Unshackled,” Harris will implore fellow lawmakers to dedicate more resources toward helping incarcerated women deal with trauma—drug addiction, sexual abuse, etc.—and pony up to create new reentry programs designed especially for women’s needs.
Huffington Post: The Hidden Bearers of Mass Incarceration: Women
Women make up a small but growing portion of the national prison population. Given our central roles in families and communities, incarcerating women creates profound ripple effects throughout society. This week, Fallin and Harris will join other leaders in Washington, D.C., at a large event to discuss this too-often overlooked crisis, along with its consequences and solutions. Policymakers nationwide should listen up.
Washington Free Beacon: Harris Slams Sessions on Mandatory Minimums
Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) on Tuesday slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his “tough-on-crime” policies at an event held to address rising incarceration rates for women. “The answer is not to build more prisons and the answer is certainly not to privatize those prisons … And the answer, Jeff Sessions, is not to return to relying on mandatory minimum sentences,” Harris said to cheers.
The Crime Report: How OK Is Reducing its Female Incarceration Rate
In the states…
Louisiana Public Radio: For Women, Prison Programs Need More Work
The Oklahoman Op-ed: Gov. Mary Fallin: Working to get smarter on crime
The Oklahoman: Fallin to Speak at Justice Reform Forum
Tulsa Public Radio: Fallin Gives Keynote Address at National Forum on Female Incarceration
Deseret News Op-ed: Rep. Mia Love calls criminal justice reform a bipartisan opportunity
Northern Kentucky Tribune: Women Unshackled: Kim Moser to speak in D.C. on growing female opioid-related incarcerations
Cincinnati Enquirer Op-ed: Substance Abuse Driving Explosion of Women in Prison
The Advocate Op-ed: Address the rise in female inmates