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Women Behind Bars: Why is incarceration of women on the rise?

March 18, 2024, 11:00 am – 11:45 am

Women Behind Bars: Why is incarceration of women on the rise?

Virtual Program. Free.

Join us for a program shedding light on the concerning rise of female imprisonment in the United States, which is surpassing global rates. This exploration spans from the historical context of women in prison to the present-day complexities of incarcerated motherhood. Discover the unique challenges faced by women of reproductive age as they navigate pregnancy and motherhood within correctional facilities primarily designed for men.

About the Speakers:

Jen Manion smiles at the camera. Jen Manion (they/them) is a social and cultural historian whose work examines the role of gender and sexuality in American life. Manion is the Winkley Professor of History and Political Economy at Amherst College. They are also author of Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America and Female Husbands: A Trans History. To learn more about Jen, visit their website.

Michelle Daniel Jones Smiles at the camera.Michelle Daniel Jones (she/her) is a sixth-year doctoral student in the American studies program at New York University. Her dissertation focuses on creative liberation strategies of incarcerated women and the Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project. As an organizer, collaborator, and subject matter expert she creates opportunities to speak truth to power and serves in the development and operation of taskforces and initiatives to reduce harm and end mass incarceration. To learn more about Michelle, visit her website.


Dr. Kerry Sautner smiles at the camera.Dr. Kerry Sautner, Ed.D. (she/her), is the president and chief executive officer of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, a museum interpreting the legacy of American criminal justice reform from the site of the world’s first penitentiary.

About the Justice 101 Series:
Justice 101 is a new series brought to you by the Center for Justice Education at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site where we examine the history of the justice system in America from our founding to today and the impact it has on our society, citizens, and world.

Once a month, we invite special guests to foster dialogue about a different topic in criminal justice. Justice 101 programs take place virtually via Zoom, and each is 45 minutes long (30-minute program plus 15-minute Q&A). You can join us live at the times listed, or watch the programs back anytime on YouTube.

Click here for a full list of upcoming Justice 101 programs.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner