The Justice 4 Women Task Force (J4WTF) is a collective of directly impacted women and girls, advocates, agencies, and supporters, who are dedicated to upholding & protecting the inherent dignity, value and human rights of incarcerated women and gender-expansive New Yorkers. We are fighting for change within the NYS and NYC carceral system to support women who are currently and previously detained and incarcerated. The Task Force also supports recently released women by connecting them to resources and the community.
We have bi-weekly meetings to discuss our work and how we can make change for justice-impacted communities, women, and gender-expansive people.
In March 2020 it became clear that the impact of the novel Corona-19 Virus was devastating New York citizens. However, what about the women detained at state, county and city correctional facilities? A series of events took place; simultaneously, Sharon White-Harrigan, Ivelisse Gilestra, and Serena Liguori were in conversation about the pressing issues surrounding COVID-19 and women in jail and prisons. The three seized upon the opportunity to raise the issue at the April 6, 2020 Beyond Rosies Action Group (BRAG), under the auspices of WCJA. The outpouring of support that night led to the forming of the Justice 4 Women Task Force.
It was clear “we had to speak out and to take action”. In collaboration with fierce and dedicated advocates, agencies, supporters, partners, and friends-the task force is a collective force. Our purpose is to get women and gender expansive people released and improve the conditions for women and gender expansive people in any facility in NYS, county jails, and at the RMSC in NYC. Our organizational structure is simple– one of four conveners run our meetings, there are committees, and we respond collectively to achieve our purpose. In the spirit of fellowship, we welcome you to our community of leaders, so please sign up and attend ZOOM meetings to learn more, to volunteer on a committee and get into “action”. If you are invited or called upon to speak up on behalf of the Justice 4 Women Covid-19 Task Force, we ask that you identify yourself as one of many who have come together to represent and uplift the voices of women and gender expansive people and to fight for humane conditions women and gender expansive people deserve at any NYS, local, or county facility.