photo from RI Monthly

Should We Close the RI Women's Prison?

Wednesday, March 3 12:00-1:00pm

Register in Advance for this Event, or you can join here without registration if you have trouble registering

With only around 80 women currently imprisoned in RI, is there an opportunity to reinvest in alternatives to incarceration? Join this conversation to learn more about how the current system works, the challenges facing women that cycle through the prison system, and the new "Senate Commission on Justice Reinvestment and Reducing the Incarceration of Women."

Keynote: Andrea James, Executive Director of the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls


  • State Senator Meghan Kallman, Pawtucket
  • Roberta Richman, former Warden of the Rhode Island Women's Prison
  • Koren Carbuccia, Program Coordinator at OpenDoors

Join keynote speaker Andrea James, executive director of the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, RI Senator Meghan Kallman, retired warden Roberta Richman and OpenDoors Program Coordinator Koren Carbuccia presenting differing views on the question and discussing possible solutions to mass incarceration, the cost of female imprisonment, problems faced by women in prison and other related issues.

Women have become the fastest growing segment of the community to become incarcerated, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. To look at this and other issues, OpenDoors is hosting a series of monthly conversations on topics ranging from prison closing to the decriminalization of sex work.  “Should we close the Rhode Island women’s prison?,” is the first of the series, to be held on Wednesday, March 3rd, at 12:00 pm EST noon. If you cannot make the event, a recording of the discussion will be posted.   

Keynote speaker Andrea James, a lawyer, served a 24 month prison sentence in 2009.  While inside she saw the many injustices faced by women including denial of parental rights, failed health care, unjust disciplinary actions and other troubling trends and barriers. Along with others, she organized what is now a national organization to address these injustices and a call to free women and girls from a prison system that disproportionately incarcerates women of color. 

Following the keynote address, there will be a panel discussion and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and join in on the conversation, discussing the potential to reinvest some of the approximately seventeen million dollar per year budget of the women's correctional facilities in Rhode Island as well as the Special Senate Commission on Justice Reinvestment and Reducing the Incarceration of Women.  






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