SWOP goes Beyond Bars
to create the kind of community we need…
We believe the key to serving our community begins with listening and our ability to connect to it.
The community support line (CSL) is a centralized toll-free hotline that can be accessed by anyone in North America for assistance with safety planning, networking and accessing resources. We receive more than 200 calls a week seeking assistance with a wide variety of issues from crisis support around and assault or an arrest, to sex positive resources for medical and mental health resources to housing and transportation requests.
We created the Chat for Support feature on our website in March of 2020.
The Community Support Line is the Centerpiece of All We Do!
Here's What Our Callers Say
AMAZON WISH LISTS
We build customized Amazon Wishlists for our incarcerated members and publish them on our website. Prisoners have very little access to reading material and educational opportunities and are very often locked out of critical programming like GED tutoring and Life Skills classes. Many of our requests are for books about sobriety and maintaining good mental health!Some of our incarcerated members have started their own Yoga and wellness support groups behind bars and rely on us to keep their wishlists up to date with material they are interested in.Purchasing a book from a prisoners Amazon wishlist is a great way to get involved quickly and easily!
Our newsletter is now electronically mailed to incarcerated community members imprisoned for drug and prostitution related charges. Topics include current events, mental health and wellness, radical book excerpts, biographies of historical sex workers and other subjects of empowerment and wellbeing.
We can’t express enough how we appreciate the support from the sex worker community as well as all the writers and journalists and academics that live among us and who have pledged support and offered further assistance! We accept submissions for our blog from formerly incarcerated workers!
Mentor By Mail
Mail to Incarcerated Sex Workers is a Harm Reduction Strategy, especially people who have tased sex and queer and transgender folks.! Mail Call often happens in public spaces in the prison. When someone hears their name called by a prison guard during Mail Call, it is a reminder that people on the outside care about that person. It is also a message to the guards and other incarcerated people that this person has support and is not forgotten. Learn More about being a Mentor By Electronic Mail and sign up to participate!
People often are released from jails and prisons with virtually nothing but the clothes they were arrested in. The standard institutional release package includes a bus ticket, two weeks worth of any medications, and a $50 gift card.
SWOP Behind Bars works to fill this gap. Six months prior to release, our incarcerated members receive the "Focus on the Future" re-entry guide and handbook. Upon release and on request, members are provided a smartphone with 90 days worth of service, full size hygiene items, and assistance with procuring identification documents, as well as setting up critical accounts for receiving public and private resources. We regularly refer incarcerated survivors of violence to legal council to assist with vacating criminal records.
SWOP Behind Bars offers 3 annual scholarships for incarcerated sex workers to study a broad range of subjects via correspondence courses, including paralegal and accounting. We work in partnership with Blackstone Career Institute and with Adams State University to provide these opportunities. Research shows that serving productive time by increasing education reduces recidivism,
One of our newest recipients plans to use his paralegal education to help other inmates file motions and research case law.
Our scholarship program has a 100% completion rate!