Suffolk Statement Formerly Incarcerated Women

Statement: Suffolk NLG Chapter stand in solidarity with formerly incarcerated women


The Suffolk University Law School chapter of the National Lawyers Guild stands in solidarity with our formerly incarcerated sisters who protest events describing their experience without listening to their expertise. Our sisters who have survived incarceration are the experts from whom we must learn about the impact of incarceration on women and on motherhood. They do not need anyone to speak for them.

Families for Justice as Healing and other formerly incarcerated women have called for protest outside of two events at Boston law schools: (1) Monday, October 26, 2015 at 11 am protesting outside of “The New Jane Crow” at Northeastern Law School 250 Dockser Hall, and (2) Wednesday, October 28 at 2:30 pm outside of “Safe and Sound: Women Prisoners in Massachusetts” outside of Boston College Law School. While both of these events address the experience of incarcerated women, neither event includes the expertise of these women.

We must listen and learn from our currently and formerly incarcerated sisters who are fighting for basic human rights. We must include women who have been imprisoned within all presentations about women prisoners. The prison industrial complex sustains structures of racial and economic power and privilege, and maintains oppression and inequality. We cannot dismantle this system without also challenging the privileged assumptions of experts who describe the experience of incarcerated women without including their expertise. Our formerly incarcerated sisters demand “nothing about us without us” and the Suffolk University chapter of the National Lawyers Guild supports that demand.

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