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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Women Writing for a Change

Helping women find their voice and the confidence to succeed after incarceration.

Women who are incarcerated often face many worries. Many have addiction problems, concerns for their children, fear of homelessness and joblessness after their release. Many have also been in unhealthy relationships and may find it difficult to trust others. Jail is generally not known as a place where you can be vulnerable and open up about these worries or fears, but one dedicated group of volunteers are changing all of this through the simple use of pen, paper and the support of a circle of women.

Women Writing for a Change Women Writing for a Change consists of a group of women volunteers who facilitate a writing circle for the female inmates at the Monroe County Correctional Center. This group of volunteers has successfully created a safe haven for the participants to share their feelings, express emotions and find their voices. By participating in the writing circle, the women learn that their hurt, pain and worries are valid emotions that can be shared and trusted into the hands of others. They learn that many others are facing these very same feelings and that they are not alone. It is through this sharing and the writing that is produced that the women begin to learn to trust themselves and others again. The writing circle works to acknowledge each member's worth as a woman along with developing compassion and empathy for the other women in the group.

Women Writing for a Change meets twice monthly in the Monroe County Correction Center with 15 women participating in each circle. Approximately 280 women benefit from the dedication of the Women Writing for a Change volunteers every year. The group has now also established a writing circle for women who have been released from jail in order to continue this circle of expression and support.

To learn more about Women Writing for a Change or New Leaf-New Life click here