Public Policy and Advocacy

WPA supports policy changes that will produce better outcomes for justice-involved women, families, and communities.  WPA’s Executive Director, Georgia Lerner and Board Vice President, Piper Kerman, regularly appear on panels, at roundtables, and at conferences to ensure that women are represented in discourse about criminal justice reform.  

Women's Leadership & Media Project

The Women's Leadership and Media Project (WLMP) is a training program for formerly incarcerated women and their community allies who seek to achieve criminal justice reform for women and their families. 

After extensive leadership training, WLMP graduates commit to public speaking engagements, take media interviews, and write policy and advocacy-driven pieces to raise awareness of criminal justice issues through the lens of those most affected by the system.

Participants have the opportunity to learn from field experts, speak in public, engage in lively discussion, meet people with shared experiences, and experience a “behind the scenes” view of both written and visual media.

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WLMP's application period has closed.  If you would like more information about the program, please contact Diana McHugh, Director of Communications, at

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WLMP graduates in the news: 

The Prison System is Designed to Ignore Mental Illness via Tonic

Killing Rikers via NYC Lens

Video: Women and Rikers

We Asked What It's Like to Have a Mental Illness in Prison via Tonic

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Women's Advocacy Project

As a complement to our direct services, the Women’s Advocacy Project (WAP) is WPA’s leadership program where formerly incarcerated women can harness their experiences to work for change by learning to craft policy recommendations and advocate for rational systems reform.

Read policy recommendations by the Women's Advocacy Project.

"WPA envisions a community where our reliance on incarceration as a default response to harm has been replaced by constructive, community-driven, and community-enhancing responses."
- Georgia Lerner, WPA's Executive Director
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