Life After Release began inside a Maryland prison in 2017 where incarcerated Black mothers began organizing to address prison conditions and to build a hopeful future after release. We realized that the state was not only failing to provide us transitional support and services but also that it was counting on keeping us in a cycle of policing, supervision and incarceration. Today, our mission is to build an abolition movement among Black women and families, rebuild our devastated communities and keep each other safe. We are a Black women-based and formerly incarcerated-led organization in the DC-Maryland-Virginia metro area.
Our vision is to build and spread a grassroots decarceration cycle to get our people free and dismantle mass incarceration one jurisdiction and state at a time. As we free more women who have been taken by the system, we are turning them into grassroots leaders and a powerful base for change.
Our approach is centering the voices and experiences of Black formerly-incarcerated women, developing their leadership, life skills, and grassroots organizing skills. We focus on developing people as volunteers, paid organizers, and grassroots leaders using an inside-out of cages approach.
We start by organizing women in jail, providing political education while they are still locked up and working to free them. Once they are on the outside, we bring them into our active base through our programs: Courtwatch PG, Jail Support, Legal Empowerment, Life Supports/Housing, Political Education and ultimately organizing campaigns.
In the News
Life After Release is part of an ecosystem of movement organizations including
the Movement for Black Lives, the National Council for Incarcerated and
Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls and The Mass Liberation Project.