The Coastal-Georgetown Branch of the American Association of University Women will sponsor a forum on the topic of “Women in the Delaware Prison System” on Jan. 15.  ??


The Coastal-Georgetown Branch of the American Association of University Women will sponsor a forum on the topic of “Women in the Delaware Prison System” on Jan. 15.  ??

Co-sponsors of the Forum are the League of Women Voters, the Coalition on Tolerance and Justice, and the Lewes – Rehoboth Association of Churches.  

The forum will take place on Jan. 15 at the Epworth Methodist Church, on Holland Glade Road in Rehoboth Beach, from 10 a.m. to noon.  The public is invited to attend. ??A panel consisting of experts who work with the women at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution (BWCI) and who work with ex-offenders, will discuss issues and programs related to the female prison population at BWCI. Presenters in the forum include Janet Kramer, League of Women Voters, who will discuss health and the female prison population; Gwen Empson, Program Director for the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program, the first of its kind at BWCI, who will discuss that program; and Barbara Del Mastro, Executive Director of The Way Home, an interfaith ministry dedicated to helping ex-offenders, who will discuss the issues revolving around making a successful transition back into the

community.??

BWCI opened in 1991 with a capability of housing 200 female inmates, however, there are currently over 400 inmates consisting of both pre-trial and sentenced adult female inmates at all security levels.  The age levels of the women range from 18 to over 60 with two-thirds of the women between 18 and 45.  ??

Since BWCI is the only female Correctional Institution in the State of Delaware, its location in Claymont in New Castle County, presents unique problems to women and their families in Sussex County.??Delaware holds the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of incarceration of women per population in the United States.  

Thirty-seven percent of BWCI inmates have been charged with misdemeanors, but have not been able to raise bail and are awaiting trial.  The forum will provide an opportunity to explore issues dealing with women in the Delaware prison system.

For more information on the forum, call 226-5845.