Herstory Behind Bars
Weekly workshops in the jails in both Nassau and Suffolk counties help to put a human face on people caught in the criminal justice system. Approximately 225 women and girls participate in these workshops every year. After their release, they are encouraged to join Herstory workshops in the community. Their personal narratives, compiled into two anthologies, one containing only stories written by incarcerated teens, are used as textbooks in criminology classes at Hofstra University,
Partnering colleges include St. Joseph's College, Adelphi University, Hofstra University, Queensboro Community College, and LIU Post.
This past year, we started an ongoing weekly workshop for incarcerated mothers, in partnership with New Hour for Women and Children—Long Island and the Early Childhood Systems-Building Initiative of Children's Defense Fund, in order to generate stories illuminating what happens when incarcerated women encounter the agencies that affect their children's lives. Herstory is now an active part of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Reentry Task force, where the women's stories are used to help shape community engagement and reentry efforts for incarcerated young women in the Riverhead Correctional Facility.