Commission’s 2010 Status Report Release

Photos from the Commission on Girls and Women in the Criminal Justice System’s 201 Status Report release are now up at Flickr

“All have a voice in the work of the Commission and rightly so”  

The temperature dipped below 40 degrees again as supporters of the Commission on Girls and Women in the Criminal Justice System gathered at the State House steps February 25th to celebrate the release of the Commission’s 2010 Status Report and rally support for the passage of HB 519 which would make the Commission a permanent body.

Rep. Barbara Boyd (Calhoun, Talladega), Commission Co-Chair, spoke to Commission supporters from the State House steps, driving home the urgency of the Commission’s work at the frontline of strengthening lives, families, and communities.
“The number of women incarcerated in Alabama has risen at an alarming rate of over 900% in the last 30 years, surpassing even the high national rate of over 600%,” Rep. Boyd stated, adding emphatically, “Today, in 2010, it is obvious that our state’s criminal justice system has not kept up with this increase, and in many ways, our system has led women and girls to prison. Opportunities for past collaboration came and went, and now our state faces the perilous cost of ongoing lawsuits and the untold costs, both social and fiscal, of more broken homes, more families torn apart, and more struggling neighborhoods and communities.”
Contained in the Commission’s 2010 Status Report is a chart of progress made in 2009. New programs are appearing across agencies and organizations, including the Alabama Department of Correction’s Pre-Release and Reentry Program, the WHI-FI Initiative co-delivered by the Alabama Department of Public Health and Aid to Inmate Mothers, AWRN’s Parole Advocacy Team, and ACADV’s Open Doors Project. 
Rep. Boyd spoke of the year’s progress, which includes a marked reduction in girls in juvenile correctional custody as a result of The Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, a program that focuses on treatment and positive outcomes over custody and control.
“Although we are encouraged by progress made,” Rep. Boyd stated, “it is disappointing to know that our criminal justice system expects women to have the courage to identify their needs and call out for help, often when they have already been abused for many years, or need treatment, or are unable to put their needs into words.” Commission supporters nodded and remarked in agreement as Rep. Boyd added, “That is a shame, not only for them, but a shame on us.” 
House Bill 519, favorably moved from the House to the Senate March 11th, would establish the Commission as a permanent body.
AWRN is very appreciative of the work of the Commission, of which AWRN is a member, as it has consistently worked to include incarcerated women in the development of its reporting and it goals–what better way is there to bring about real reforms and lasting change?!


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  1. […] Commission's 2010 Status Report Release « Alabama Women's Resource … […]

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