SWOP Behind Bars Newsletter
SWOP Behind Bars mailed its first newsletter to incarcerated women from 7 states in the United States in May of 2016 and we have expanded more than we ever dreamed! The names of incarcerated sex workers were submitted anonymously but we soon received requests from inside the prison walls desperatly wanting to know more! As of 2018, all of our incarcerated members are self submitted and ee are very proud that they felt compelled to self identify and trust that we could understand and possibley help! But we didn’t do this alone! We can’t express enought how we appreciate the support from the sex worker community as well as all the writers and journalists and academics that live among us and who have pledged support and offered further assistance!
There is nothing like SWOP Behind Bars project behind the walls of prisons and jails and we have encountered many obstacles during our journey. But just like every sex worker knows, that just made us try harder to connect and have an impact. Our mission remains the same – to create community links between imprisoned sex workers and ourselves and to to what we can to give them a shot when they are released. Many of their stories are heartbreaking. Many will never be released. Many have been deserted by friends and family and nearly all fear what comes after release.
Our Amazon wish lists have provided more than 7000 books directly into the hands of incarcerated sex workers. We love that we have been able to promote our communities sex worker authors by placing their book titles on individual lists and the outpouring of support from sex workers themselves and our allies has been greater than we could ever imagine.
Once again we were able to provide 3 paralegal scholarships on december 17th and we have the good fortune of being able to provide 1 additional scholarship for a semester at Adams State University, which provides college level classes for incarcerated folks.
We have provided 8 recently released sex workers with smart phones and 90 days of service. We have helped people immediately after a vice sting and we have been able to get bond reductions and Signature bonds for some of our most marginaliuzed communities. We have linked coutless resources and services from legal representation to basic human needs and we have quietly advocated for individuals with cases that were especially vile and unjust. And we are days away from publishing a reentry guide chock full of information on how to navigate the first few weeks after release and detailed instructioms on how to get ahold of our community through Facebook and Twitter.
We have created training videos to help defense attorneys defend sex workers. We have attended court date around the country. We have connected with other groups and organizations that are fighting against similar causes and each day we grow stromger and better able to provide the things that are needed and we could never have been here without your support!
Thanks again for all you have done to support our brothers and sister behind bars. We are STRONGER TOGETHER and we can make a difference in the lives of those who are incarcerated by letting them know we support them!
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