WAM Quality of Life Initiatives

W AM develops and implements 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, and prison experience. WAM offers its services at all stages of the criminal justice process through a trained corps of volunteer advocates and staff. Women are provided with support during their arrest, pre-trial, detention, plea bargaining, trial, sentencing, imprisonment, work release, parole, and post-release. WAM also visits women in the correctional facilities of Albion, Bedford, and Taconic.

Other quality of life initiatives include:

  • WAM works with English and Spanish speaking women in courtrooms, and jails, acting as their liaison with families and lawyers and providing crisis intervention services. WAM accompanies women during arraignments, trials, and sentencing, explains the court processes to them, and makes referrals to needed services. During 2004, WAM plans to serve 800 women.
  • Through the Nursery Program, WAM conducts monthly workshops at the Rikers Island Health Services Nursery to educate pregnant and parenting women about their responsibilities as parents, as well as their parental rights if their children are placed into foster care. During 2003, WAM plans to serve 50 women through this program.
  • Through the WAM’s Advocacy Program, WAM helps place mothers and their newborns into residential rehabilitation programs, where they are taught parenting skills and helped to overcome their addiction. During 2004, WAM plans to advocate for 50 women and to place at least 30 through this program.
  • WAM staffs a bilingual hotline, through which women can request the support of our advocacy, or discuss family problems, such as the need to locate their children. During 2004, WAM plans to serve at least 800 women through our hotline.
  • WAM sponsors an annual Christmas Party (and has done so for the past 20 years) to distribute new toys and clothing to over 250 children of women who are or have previously been in jail and/or prison.