Ep. 81 - “We Are More” Pt. 1: Redefining False Narratives & Disrupting Trajectories of Women in Prison ft. Sandra Brown

Bourbon 'n BrownTown

15-07-2022 • 1 hr 7 mins

BrownTown shares virtual space with Sandra Brown, formerly incarcerated survivor and current Senior Advisor and Visiting Scholar with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI). In Part One of the "We Are More" series, BrownTown and Sandra discuss the four leading criminal legal system trends that have spurred the rise in women's mass incarceration and meet them with five fundamental rights and needs as pathways to justice (WJI). At the intersection of carcerality and patriarchy, the team collectively addresses and assesses root causes and ways to reverse women’s incarceration on the path towards prison abolition. Watch the micro-docs, listen to the series, and take action at SoapBoxPO.com/We-Are-More and IllinoisPrisonProject.org.

Full transcription here!

Sandra Brown is a Chicago native with a love for learning and helping others. When she became an incarcerated survivor, she spent over half of her sentence working as a teaching assistant while striving to earn an education via correspondence courses. She has helped countless women earn their GEDs as well as complete various vocational programs. For almost a decade, she served as president of Toastmasters: A Woman’s Voice, where she developed communication and leadership opportunities for up to 60 women each session. Barriers that Brown experienced during her own educational and empowerment journey while incarcerated undergirds the work that she does now as a Senior Advisor and Visiting Scholar with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI) in Chicago. Though Brown lives in Los Angeles, she works to promote economic and educational opportunities to other justice-impacted women. Some of her advocacy work entails developing curriculum aimed at understanding decarceration and domestic violence as well as writing policy papers recommending ways to support quality higher education degree programs to women who are incarcerated. Her book Odyssey in Progress is now available and she has a piece featured in the reSentencing Journal, published by Tufts University.

Mentioned in episode:

"Justice for women isn’t only what happens between arrest and prison. It’s what happens before, during, and after it." --Women's Justice Institute

Through advocacy, public education, and direct representation, the Illinois Prison Project brings hope to and fight in community with incarcerated people and their loved ones for a brighter, more humane, more just system for us all. Learn more about the IPP on their site; follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

CREDITS: Intro music from the Women's Justice Initiative website and outro soundbite from Sandra Brown. Audio engineered by Kiera Battles. This series is sponsored by the Illinois Prison Project.


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