Letter from the Executive Director of WAM

At some point in the life of each person, our lives as we know them can be broken and our human dignity threatened. For nearly 22 years, Women’s Advocate Ministry has extended a hand of hope to women who are among the more than 1,500 women held daily at The Rose M. Singer Facility for women on Riker’s Island in New York City.

Most of these women are young, unskilled single parents from minority groups, whose crimes were based on survival.

Women’s Advocate Ministry, Inc. (WAM) is unique in its approach of support for the women. Our organization is with each woman from the time of her arrest, through the entire legal process until her case is decided. Often there are underage children and dependent family unable to assist the arrested woman in any way. WAM is the bridge – able to intercede on the arrested woman’s behalf.

The goal of the organization is not to leave any woman behind who has called upon WAM to help her during her crisis. WAM will continue to develop and implement all of its programs based on the philosophy that it does make a difference in a woman’s future if there is someone standing beside her throughout the arrest, court, jail/prison and re-entry experience. WAM’s objective is to remain client-centered in its programs.

WAM has been serving incarcerated women and their children since the early 1980s. WAM supports women inmates by working to improve their quality of life while in prison and improving their possibilities to integrate themselves back into society and avoid recidivism after release. Today, WAM serves over 600 incarcerated women and their children, a rapidly growing, yet often forgotten population, by providing a variety of services including education about parental rights and responsibilities, acting as liaison with lawyers and families and referrals to a wide variety of services, including housing and substance abuse treatment.

In September 2001, at the request of the Westchester County Department of Corrections, WAM expanded its services to assist those residents of New York City arrested in Westchester County who are not eligible for services in Westchester County.

Please contact me via email: Annie@wamusa.org if you are interested in becoming a volunteer or making a donation.

Rev. Annie M. Bovian

Executive Director