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Incarcerated Women

Women In Jail Are Fastest Growing Segment Of America's Incarcerated Population

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 08.17.2016 | Politics

In 1970, there were fewer than 8,000 women in American jails. By 2014, that number had skyrocketed to nearly 110,000 ― making women in jails the fas...

The Rape Victims Silenced By Their Prison Cells

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 07.20.2016 | Women

When Leticia Villarreal, 42, began her prison sentence at McPherson Unit, a women’s facility in Arkansas, she throbbed with anger and pain. She was ...

Providing Free Pads And Tampons To Incarcerated Women Is About More Than Hygiene

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 06.24.2016 | Impact

For incarcerated women in the U.S., the experience of a monthly period can be stressful and demeaning. While jails often supply menstrual products, su...

Should Domestic Violence Victims Go To Prison For Killing Their Abusers?

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 05.26.2016 | Politics

NEW YORK -- LadyKathryn Williams-Julien's first childhood memory is of her father punching her mother in the face. She was 6. Her mother fell to the g...

Putting Moms In Prison Punishes Their Kids, Too

The Huffington Post | Kim Bellware | Posted 05.09.2016 | Women

CHICAGO -- It's been two months since 13-year-old Malik was able to give his mom a hug. He recently got the rare opportunity, but first he had to trav...

5 Ways To Help Moms In Need This Mother's Day

The Huffington Post | Sarah Grossman | Posted 05.06.2016 | Impact

This Mother’s Day, let's honor moms all over -- including those who might wish they had more to offer their kids. Here are ways to lend a hand: 1. S...

She Was Acquitted Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex After Years In Prison. Now Comes The Hard Part.

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 04.14.2016 | Black Voices

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Cherelle Baldwin was technically free. It had been nine days since her release from York Correctional Institution, Connecticut...

Woman Accused Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex Found Not Guilty

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 04.01.2016 | Black Voices

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Twelve jurors found Cherelle Baldwin not guilty of murder on Thursday in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Brown. Baldwin ...

Jury Begins Deliberations In Trial Of Woman Accused Of Killing Her Alleged Abuser

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 03.29.2016 | Black Voices

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A jury has begun deliberations in the trial of Cherelle Baldwin, a young woman accused of killing her allegedly abusive ex-boyfr...

Woman On Trial In Ex-Boyfriend's Murder Testifies He Was 'Controlling, Abusive'

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 03.22.2016 | Black Voices

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Cherelle Baldwin held back tears Tuesday as she told a jury how her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Brown whipped her with his belt and the...

This Woman Is On Trial For Killing A Man She Says Tried To Kill Her

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 03.21.2016 | Black Voices

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — As she awaited her day in court, held on $1 million bail, Cherelle Baldwin missed milestones. Her son’s second birthday, then ...

Freedom. Now What?

Adele Bertei | Posted 03.10.2016 | Impact
Adele Bertei

I recently had the honor of meeting with Susan Burton in Los Angeles. Susan, who spent 20 years of her life incarcerated, has become one of the great leaders of the social justice movement in America.

Tennessee To Decide If It Will Keep Criminalizing Pregnant Women For Drug Use

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 03.14.2016 | Politics

In 2014, Tennessee made national news when it became the first state in the country to pass a law specifically making it a crime to use drugs while pr...

Daniel Holtzclaw, Former Oklahoma Cop, Gets 263 Years For Rape, Sex Assault

Associated Press | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 01.22.2016 | Black Voices

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A judge says a former police officer convicted of raping and sexually victimizing women while on his beat in a low-income Oklaho...

Prison Chaplain Won Employee Of The Year While Female Inmates Say He Was Sexually Assaulting Them

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 01.08.2016 | Politics

In January of 2013, Kenneth Dewitt, a prison chaplain at a women’s correctional facility in Newport, Arkansas, was invited to the governor’s mansi...

New York Bans 'Barbaric' Practice Of Shackling Pregnant Inmates

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 12.23.2015 | Politics

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation on Tuesday banning the practice of shackling incarcerated women in New York during pregnancy. Under...

Former Prison Chaplain Charged With Sexually Assaulting Female Inmates

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 12.19.2015 | Politics

A former prison chaplain at a women’s prison in Newport, Arkansas, was charged with 50 counts of sexual assault involving three inmates on Thursday....

Listen To Women Describe The Horror Of Being Shackled While Pregnant

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 12.11.2015 | Women

"It's just so degrading." "I know I made a mistake, but this is a totally different punishment that no one deserves." "It was the most dehumanizing, e...

In the Shadow of a Prisoner's Dharma

Nancy Deville | Posted 12.01.2015 | Women
Nancy Deville

Teaching yoga in jail has given me insights into the alternate universe of the criminal justice system that I wasn't really prepared for. From the very first class I led there, there have been women who stand out in my mind for some reason or another.

Inside A Notorious Women's Prison Before Its Revolutionary Makeover

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 11.05.2015 | Women

A defunct women’s prison whose inmates once reported the highest rate of staff sexual abuse in the country will soon be transformed into office spac...

Claiming Spiritual Real Estate in Prison

Nancy Deville | Posted 10.27.2015 | Impact
Nancy Deville

Even though there may not be quantifiable statistics that prove that yoga prevents recidivism, our purpose is to infiltrate and claim as much spiritual real estate as possible. We teach yoga to incarcerated women because we believe yoga can help them go on to experience the full expression of their lives.

Advocates Urge Cuomo To End Shackling Of Pregnant Women

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics

NEW YORK -- Advocates dressed up in fake pregnant bellies and wearing shackles rallied in front of the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Mon...

Mother's Day at Your Local Prison

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 05.01.2016 | Women
Christopher Zoukis

Regardless of how we feel about people who are in prison, children have a right to see, to touch, and to speak with their parents (obviously, provided doing so poses no risks for the child).

Melissa Jeltsen

'Vagina Monologues' Production Reminds Female Inmates They Aren't Forgotten | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 04.28.2015 | Women

BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. -- Elisia Dones, 59, gazed out the window of the bus as it passed Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York’s only maximum-s...

This Former Inmate Was Forced To Give Birth While Shackled To A Bed

HuffPost Live | Rahel Gebreyes | Posted 03.11.2015 | HuffPost Live 321

The cultural conversation about the plight of incarcerated women is fresh in the American consciousness thanks to "Orange Is The New Black," but the r...