state:
Massachusetts
Local history:
Reforming Gender and the Carceral State
What are women’s prisons for?
University of Massachusetts Amherst
National Traveling Venue:
Forbes Library and Historic Northhampton
Forbes Library: 20 West Street | Historic Northampton: 46 Bridge Street
March 1, 2017March 30, 2017

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 4:30PM
Real Madness: Warehousing People with Mental Illness in Prisons
Northampton Public Library Coolidge Museum
20 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060

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Massachusetts: Reforming Gender and the Carceral State
What are women’s prisons for?
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Framingham Reformatory Prison for Women, founded in 1877, catalyzed women’s carceral reform. Nineteenth-century reformers advocated for separate prisons to address women’s needs, but by criminalizing certain behaviors and promoting others through domestic skills-based programming and a strong culture of surveillance, women’s prisons became powerful enforcers of white, middle-class norms of gender and sexuality.

Built in 2007 and expanded in 2012, Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center, the state’s newest jail for women, was similarly justified as necessary to meeting women’s “distinct needs". While officials champion the jail as “gender responsive,” activists reject this notion. Women have been shackled during childbirth, denied proper prenatal nutrition, videotaped during strip searches, and many lose custody of their children. As a result of the Drug War, mandatory minimum sentences, and the decimation of the social safety net—and compounded by racism, sexism, and economic injustice—women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States.

Our Point of View

A group of women from different nations, ethnicities, and disciplines, we grapple with the intersection of gender and incarceration through the lens of two women’s prisons. Centering on women’s voices, we worked with local activists including the Statewide Harm Reduction Coalition to understand the complex ways that mass incarceration affects women in general and women of color in particular. Along with written sources and oral histories, conversations with local reproductive justice activists deeply informed our approach.

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Massachusetts: Reforming Gender and the Carceral State    University of Massachusetts Amherst
What are women’s prisons for?
Massachusetts: Reforming Gender and the Carceral State
What are women’s prisons for?
  University of Massachusetts Amherst

National Exhibition Venue    Forbes Library and Historic Northhampton

Public Dialogues and Events
| March 1 – March 30, 2017

See Full Exhibition & Events Schedule
Mar 1, 2017
States of Incarceration Exhibition

States of Incarceration Exhibition Credit: Chris Choi

States of Incarceration Exhibition

States of Incarceration Exhibition Credit: Chris Choi

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

States of Incarceration Holyoke, MA, Opening Reception

Description: 

The opening reception for States of Incarceration in Holyoke.read more…

Time: 
6 PM to 8 PM
Venue: 

The Wauregan
420 Dwight Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Mar 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

MA: Inside Justice: Narratives of Incarcerated Women course field trip to States of Incarceration

Description: 

Holyoke Senior Center Lifelong Learning course Inside Justice: Narratives of Incarcerated Women will conclude its four-week course with a field trip to States of Incarceration at the Wistariahurst Museum.read more…

Time: 
10 AM
Venue: 

Wistariahurst Museum
238 Cabot Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Film
Mar 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

MA: Film Screening of 13th

Description: 

Join Wistariahurst at El Mercado for a screening of the film 13th and participate in a facilitated discussion with Jafet Robles of Neighbor to Neighbor.
Supported by the Holyoke Local Cultural Council, Holyoke, MA.
Full event information here.read more…

Time: 
6 PM
Venue: 

El Mercado
401 Main Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Performance
Mar 7, 2017

Voices from Inside Courtesy of: Voices from Inside

Voices from Inside Courtesy of: Voices from Inside

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MA: Voices from Inside Poetry Reading, presented by Wistariahurst at The Wauregan

Description: 

The women of Voices from Inside will be performing a reading of their original poetry entitled Voices Beyond Bars: Strong Women Fighting through Writing, Inspiring the World in the States of Incarceration exhibit space. The reading is free and open to the public.
Complete event information here.read more…

Time: 
5PM
Venue: 

The Wauregan Building
420 Dwight Street
Holyoke, MA

Mar 9, 2017
Portrait of Luke Ryan

Luke Ryan Courtesy of: Luke Ryan

Portrait of Luke Ryan

Luke Ryan Courtesy of: Luke Ryan

Thursday, March 9, 2017

MA: Know Your Rights Workshop, with Civil Rights Attorney Luke Ryan

Description: 

Interactive public workshop with local civil rights attorney Luke Ryan on how to assert and protect your rights if you are stopped, questioned, arrested, or have any other encounter with law enforcement. This workshop is free and open to all.
Presented by the Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series and Wistariahurst.
Complete event information here.read more…

Time: 
6 PM to 8 PM
Venue: 

El Mercado
401 Main Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Conference
Mar 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

MA: Pa'lante Restorative Justice Workshop for School-Based Professionals

Description: 

Pa’lante, a Restorative Justice group from Holyoke High School, will be offering a youth-led workshop for school-based professionals interested in introducing restorative practices into their schools. Pa’lante was founded in 2015 as a way to build youth power and voice in Holyoke High School.
Registration and complete event information.read more…

Time: 
8 AM to 12 PM
Venue: 

The Wauregan
401 Main Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Exhibition
Mar 13, 2017
States of Incarceration Exhibition

States of Incarceration Exhibition Credit: Chris Choi

States of Incarceration Exhibition

States of Incarceration Exhibition Credit: Chris Choi

Monday, March 13, 2017

MA: States of Incarceration Opening at Forbes Library and Historic Northampton, MA

Description: 

States of Incarceration exhibition opening at Forbes Library and Historic Northampton. There will be a guided tour of the exhibit at the Forbes Library at 6pm and a poetry reading at Historic Northampton at 7pm.
Full exhibition program here.read more…

Time: 
5 PM to 8 PM
Venue: 

Forbes Library: 20 West Street, Northampton, MA
Historic Northampton: 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA

Mar 14, 2017

Public Interactive Tag, 2016

Public Interactive Tag, 2016

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MA: Book Discussion: Orange is the New Black, presented by Hamptons + Holyoke Read

Description: 

Join us for a book discussion on Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. Originally published in 2010, this book tells the true story of the author’s time in a federal women’s prison where she served a 15-month sentence for drug trafficking. The author attended Smith College.
Full information on the Hamptons + Holyoke Read series.read more…

Time: 
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Venue: 

Westhampton Public Library
1 N Road
Westhampton, MA 01027

Mar 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MA: Punishment in Paradise: The History of Punishment and Incarceration in Northampton, 1654-present

Description: 

A lecture by Mike Ryan, a native of Northampton, board member of Historic Northampton, a former District Attorney, and a retired lawyer and judge. Sponsored by Historic Northampton and Forbes Library.
Event details here.read more…

Time: 
7PM
Venue: 

Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Mar 17, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

MA: Book Discussion: Just Mercy, presented by Hamptons + Holyoke Read

Description: 

Join us for a book discussion of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Free and open to all.
Full event details here.read more…

Time: 
1PM
Venue: 

Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Mar 20, 2017

Credit: http://www.colorlines.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_lead_normal/public/images/2015/08/Visions%20from%20inside%20illustrates%20women%20in%20immigration%20detention%20centers%202_8-20-15.jpg?itok=_MMLvngR

Credit: http://www.colorlines.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_lead_normal/public/images/2015/08/Visions%20from%20inside%20illustrates%20women%20in%20immigration%20detention%20centers%202_8-20-15.jpg?itok=_MMLvngR

Monday, March 20, 2017

MA: Women, Crime, and Justice: Mass Incarceration and Mothering, a lecture by Nicole Hendricks

Description: 

The number of women behind bars or under some form of correctional control has risen significantly in the last four decades, where now, no country incarcerates more women than the United States. At the intersections of this crisis, we find disproportionate numbers of women of color, and poor women, many of whom leave behind children, and are more likely to be locked up thousands of miles away from those children. What are the collateral consequences for our communities when parenting takes place behind bars?
Nicole Hendricks of HCC will present.
Free and open to the public. Details here....read more…

Time: 
6:30PM
Venue: 

Westhampton Public Library
1 N Road
Westhampton, MA 01027

Mar 21, 2017

Public Interactive Tag, 2016

Public Interactive Tag, 2016

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MA: Marijuana Beyond Legalization, a lecture by Dick Evans

Description: 

Dick Evans will present a lecture on Marijuana Beyond Legalization, as part of Hamptons + Holyoke Read.
Event details here.read more…

Time: 
7PM
Venue: 

Florence Lilly Library
19 Meadow Street
Florence, MA 01062

Mar 23, 2017

Separating the sexes for work at Angola was one of the ways prison management shaped and exploited notions of gender and sexuality. This video created by Theo Hilton examines the history of gender and sexuality at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Courtesy of: UNO History Lab

Separating the sexes for work at Angola was one of the ways prison management shaped and exploited notions of gender and sexuality. This video created by Theo Hilton examines the history of gender and sexuality at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Courtesy of: UNO History Lab

Thursday, March 23, 2017

MA: What Drives Mass Incarceration in the U.S. and in Massachusetts

Description: 

Join Lois Ahrens, Founding Director of the Real Cost of Prisons Project and Founding Member of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, in exploring how our prisons and jails have grown from 250,000 incarerated women and men in the 1970's to 2-3 million women and men incarcerated today. And learn what you can do about it.
Full program details.read more…

Time: 
6:30PM
Venue: 

Edwards Public Library
30 East Street
Southampton, MA 01073

Performance
Mar 25, 2017

Voices from Inside Courtesy of: Voices from Inside

Voices from Inside Courtesy of: Voices from Inside

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MA: Voices Carry: Poetry Reading by Voices from Inside

Description: 

Voices from Inside makes a difference in the lives of incarcerated women by giving them the opportunity to find their voices and the power to change their lives through creative writing workshops.
voicesfrominside.org
Event details.read more…

Time: 
1PM
Venue: 

Emily Williston Memorial Library
9 Park Street
Easthampton, MA 01027

Conference
Mar 27, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

MA: Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record: A Panel Conversation with Four Massachusetts Residents

Description: 

Panel conversation with four Massachusetts residents with direct experience with incarceration. Elaine Arsenault, Veronica McNair, Donald Perry, and Jafet Robles will share their stories and views, providing a first-hand, human perspective on the effects of being directly impacted by the carceral state.
Full event details.read more…

Time: 
7PM
Venue: 

Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Conference
Mar 29, 2017

Public Interactive Tag, 2016

Public Interactive Tag, 2016

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MA: Real Madness: Warehousing People with Mental Illness in Prisons

Description: 

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country and a substantial percentage of those prisoners have a serious mental illness. Contrary to their mission, prisons and jails have become the new asylums. Institutional responses to mentally ill prisoners are sometimes grossly inappropriate and harmful. In this presentation, Bob Fleischner, will discuss the reasons why so many people with mental illness are in prison, what prison life is like for many mentally ill prisoners, the very harmful misuse of solitary confinement, why prisoners' rights litigation is important, how enlightened prison administrators have instituted important reforms, and why...read more…

Time: 
7PM
Venue: 

Northampton Public Library Coolidge Museum
20 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Conference
Mar 30, 2017
States of Incarceration Exhibition

States of Incarceration Exhibition Credit: Chris Choi

States of Incarceration Exhibition

States of Incarceration Exhibition Credit: Chris Choi

Thursday, March 30, 2017

MA: Plug In! A Gathering to Change the Things We Cannot Accept

Description: 

You’ve learned all about the injustice of mass incarceration — now spend an evening with local and statewide organizations working to change it! At this interactive community forum, plug in to advocacy, engagement, support, organizing, and dialogue work that matters.

This event will include participatory workshops with the following grassroots community organizations: Black and Pink, EPOCA, Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement, Great Falls Books Through Bars, Springfield Jobs not Jails, Pa’lante Restorative Justice, Pioneer Valley Project, Prison Birth Project, Elm Street Thnk Tank, and Voices from Inside.read more…

Time: 
4:30 PM
Venue: 

Holyoke City Hall Ballroom
536 Dwight Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Performance
Apr 3, 2017

Courtesy of: Danomyte, via Adobe Stock.

Courtesy of: Danomyte, via Adobe Stock.

Monday, April 3, 2017

MA: Stage Reading of Getting Out by Holyoke Community College

Description: 

PERFORMANCE: Staged reading of Getting Out by the Holyoke Community College Theater Department at Forbes Library, Northampton.
Sponsored by Historic Northampton and Forbes Library.
read more…

Time: 
7PM
Venue: 

Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060

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