Essie Justice Group harnesses the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones. 

We asked Essie Sisters: "What's it like for a woman to have a loved one in prison?"

The Need:

With an unprecedented 2+ million people living behind bars in the United States - 90% of them men - millions of women with incarcerated loved ones are left behind. Today 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 2 Black women has a family member in prison. These women face stigma and isolation and are regularly left to care for kids and finances alone.

 photo credit: Garry Bowden

 photo credit: Garry Bowden

“In 2001 my son Kerry was taken away and sentenced to 66 years in prison.... I know that I must keep it together emotionally for him and for my grandson, who doesn’t have a father.”
— Anita Wills, mother of incarcerated son, Oakland CA

Our Mission:

Essie Justice Group harnesses the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to empower women and end mass incarceration. We are building a loving and powerful network to equip women with the tools and resources to heal family, community, and make social change. Using our Healing to Advocacy curriculum, designed by and for women, we seed groups for women to give and receive support. Together, women access their collective power as leaders and advocates.