Ex-Inmates Helping to Transform Prison Into Building for Women and Girls

“They can walk through the building a thousand times, but when they walk through it with somebody that had to live here, that was incarcerated here, it’s a different vibe,” Cheryl Wilkins said, adding that an advisory committee comprised of formerly incarcerated women regularly meets with NoVo Foundation representatives to plan for the building’s future.

Grant Supports Men Who Oppose Violence Against Kids

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office on Violence Against Woman is offering the Engaging Men in Preventing Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Program. This Program assists the movement to end violence against women by including men. A recent national poll indicated that 73 percent of men feel they can help reduce domestic violence and sexual assault. This is the first program that supports projects that help raise awareness in the critical roles that men play in prevention of violence against women and girls. The aim is to help develop new male leaders who will speak and act to oppose violence against women. The deadline for this grant is June 30, 2011.

Teen Dating Violence Research Grants

A grant from the Department of Health and Human Services entitled Research on Teen Dating Violence seeks to understand the precursors for and reducing the risk of teen dating violence. The hope is to examine perceptions of appropriate responses between service providers, the criminal justice system, teens, victims, perpetrators and bystanders. Abusive behavior is any act carried out where one partner aims to hurt or control the other. The research encompasses at least one of three types of behaviors; physical aggression, sexual aggression and psychological aggression. This grant is also supported by The National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, Office for Research on Women’s Health, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.

What do Teens in Prison Need to be Successful?

Imagine being ripped from your safe, normal professional life and thrust into federal prison for a year, for something stupid you did when you were a teenager, or even a young adult.

Piper Kerman doesn’t have to imagine it, because that’s exactly what happened to her. She was locked up in a federal prison at age 34 for a drug crime she committed in her early 20s. Because Kerman spent a year living in close quarters with many women, including 18- and 19-year-old girls, she has an unusual, nearly first-hand perspective on what teens in prison need to be successful. Here’s her suggestions about what they need:

Positive attention. Kerman found the teens in particular were incredibly responsive to positive attention, creating significant opportunities for change — opportunities that were often missed.