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Prison Research Meets Practice: A Conversation on Women in Prison

Join the Urban Institute for a conversation on women’s experiences in prison. In the United States, women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population, so understanding what drives this growth, the unique needs of this group, and how departments of corrections can adapt their custodial practices is essential for enacting necessary change. From trauma-informed and gender-responsive programming to the particular pathways to incarceration most prevalent among women, this conversation brings together research, practice, and lived experience to focus on the underlying causes and effects of these realities and possibilities for reform.

This discussion seeks to elevate the larger conversation about the experiences of women while they are incarcerated and features Michelle Daniel Jones, who has extensive experience collaborating with currently and formerly incarcerated women to document the impact of the carceral state and its nuances; Emily Salisbury, whose primary research interests include correctional assessment and treatment intervention strategies, with a focus on justice-involved women and girls and gender-responsive policy; and Amanda Woolford, who directs the women’s prison facility in Maine.


  • Michelle Daniel Jones, Founder and Board President, Constructing Our Future; Cofounder, Indiana Women’s Prison History Project; ABD, New York University
  • Emily Salisbury, Associate Professor, College of Social Work, University of Utah; Director, Utah Criminal Justice Center
  • Amanda Woolford, Director of Women’s Programs, Maine Department of Corrections; Fellow, New York University Marron Institute
  • Evelyn F. McCoy, Senior Manager, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute (moderator)


The Urban Institute’s Prison Research and Innovation Initiative makes efforts to build evidence and spur innovation to make prisons more humane, safe, and rehabilitative environments. With support from Arnold Ventures, this Initiative leverages research and evidence to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions and pilot strategies to promote the well-being of people who are confined and work behind bars. In this series, Prison Research Meets Practice, Urban will draw on the expertise of researchers and practitioners to bridge communication divides, draw national attention to the problem of prisons in America, and ignite change. Please join the Urban Institute for these conversations between practitioners and researchers to better understand the issues we face in the quest to #TransformPrisons.


Funding for this event was provided by Arnold Ventures. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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