Jane is getting women out from behind bars and back into their communities. As a staff attorney for our Decarceration Project, Jane strives to end the mass incarceration of vulnerable New Yorkers, one client at a time. Whether she is fighting to change outdated bail policies, or advocating for her clients in the courtroom, Jane is giving hardworking women across our city a voice.
The Decarceration Project
Jane is part of our Decarceration Project, a unit founded in 2016 with a simple goal: ending the mass incarceration of low-income New Yorkers. The Decarceration Project operates a number of initiatives, projects, and partnerships to help these vulnerable people. Jane serves as a coordinator for one of these projects, the Women’s Pre-Trail Release Project, in partnership with Fedcap.
As part of that work, Jane represents New Yorkers being held on bail. New York still has some of the most outdated bail laws in the country, laws that keep our neighbors in jail before they have been convicted of a crime. This year alone, 47,000 New Yorkers will be held in jail simply because they cannot post bail. And for the clients that Jane works with, the effects of incarceration can be devastating.
“Being detained is egregious and harmful to anyone,” Jane explains, “but there are a number of issues that are specific to women.” These women, sometimes serving as the head of household and often the primary care givers for their children, are especially vulnerable to the devastation of incarceration. Not only can these women lose their jobs and their homes; even a few days behind bars can threaten the safety of their families. Thankfully, with Jane’s help, women in need have an advocate they can rely on.
Through the Decarceration Project, Jane works with vulnerable women, not only helping them fight arbitrary bail determinations, but also connecting them to the services and resources they need to thrive within their communities. For Jane, the holistic approach of her work goes beyond simple legal services and community support; it’s something bigger. “I am my community. As a black woman, doing this work is a constant reminder that my clients are me, my mother, my sisters, my aunts, and my cousins.”
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With your help, Jane and her colleagues can make equal justice a reality
for even more New Yorkers in need.