WPA Vision Statement
The Women's Prison Association envisions a community where our reliance on incarceration as the default response to crime has been replaced by constructive, community-driven and -enhancing responses. Critical to our vision of a world with fewer jails and prisons is the belief that all human beings have the capacity for change and that every individual can be accountable for her actions and the results. Believing that no person should be defined solely by her bad acts, we exist to support women at any stage of criminal justice involvement so that they can imagine and realize law-abiding, self-directed and satisfying lives in the community.
We strive to create an environment where women feel supported and confident enough to take the chance of trying new ways of acting in response to situations and feelings. In the absence of expectation and ideas, women need help imagining that they can participate as community-member, employees or scholars. And, although they have been punished in jails, prisons and by family and community, few have had the experience of taking responsibility for their actions and the ensuing results. WPA recognizes that every step of a woman's journey, including her crimes, is critical to her arrival at the present, and that she is able to chart her future on a different path.
Perhaps most critical to the realization of our vision is every staff member's belief in the right and capacity of every person to define a personal vision and take steps to bring about its existence. Inherent in this belief is the acknowledgment that each person's vision is of different scale, can and should change, and that every step that fails to lead to its realization can reveal valuable information.
Realization of our vision will be a reflection of our clients' success in imagining, believing, and beginning to live law-abiding lives that are guided by their own goals and desires. Realization of our vision will be apparent when incarceration is a rare response to crime, and when responses to crime are community-based plans that include repair of damage; demonstration of cooperative, lawful and pro-social behaviors; improved/adequate stability of family and housing; and participation in workforce or another legal source of income.