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I have wandered the Internet for a year now and find very little on the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing on families of the inmates. I belong to FAMMM, ACLU and am on several lists for activism; however, to actually be able to write someone or a newsgroup that can be supportive seems impossible. The only groups I have found are religious based and religion is not the answer to our mates being locked up.

Women seem to ignore this issue until they are hit with it. The financial, emotional and resulting physical toll my mate's incarceration has extolled is beyond description. He is on a first time drug conviction that a few years ago would have been probation or therapy. He was the main breadwinner as I was attending college to get my degree. I am not a youngster, 51, so I have a good idea what the world is about, until this happened. This opened my eyes and women better be prepared to see their mates, sons and daughters go to prison. I feel the feminists of the USA need to get involved in this. Any ideas?

You are so right that we--everyone--ignores things until we are hit with them. I always make this point when talking about the medical establishment--we spend so much time working on cures and too little on prevention even though in most instances we know how to prevent things.

Most of the groups that I know of that work with women and the prison system, are working with women when they are released. There are a few places that I suggest you go for suggestions:

1.) The Women's Prison Association--the work they do that I am familiar with is with female inmates, but I'm hoping they might have other purposes (#212-674-1163).

2.) ACE-OUT (#212-398-4041), which works with HIV positive women getting out of prison. Again, they may have other resources or at least be linked to other groups.

I'm sorry that this isn't much help. I will investigate some more, but in the meantime I hope that these help.


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