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Female Incarceration: A Discussion at International Women's Day Breakfast, Simmons College March 8

BOSTON (February 24, 2011) — The facts are gripping: a survey of more than 70 countries found only a handful, including the United States, Liberia, and Bahamas, systematically separated incarcerated female mothers from their babies; the National Women's Law Center study gave Massachusetts a grade of "C" for pre-natal care and an "F" for shackling policies for female offenders during child birth.

These and other topics related to the treatment status of women offenders in the United States will be discussed as part of the 14th annual International Women's Day Breakfast Tuesday, March 8, at Simmons College.

The event, "Unequal Treatment under the Law: Women in the Criminal Justice System," will take place from 7:30-9:30 a.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center at Simmons College, 300 The Fenway in Boston. Admittance is based on a suggested donation of $6. Please RSVP by March 4 to  

Co-sponsored by the Boston-Area International Women's Day Planning Committee, the discussion will center on issues of policy in caring for female offenders in the U.S. and Massachusetts. Panelists will include Mass. Representative Kay Khan, Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral of Suffolk County, Erika Kates, Ph.D, of the Wellesley Centers for Women, and Dawn Coleman, former participant of the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Program. The event will be moderated by host and executive producer of WCVB-TV's "CityLine" Karen Holmes Ward.

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities, and networking events.

The Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change co-sponsors programs, activities, and resources that help initiate social change for women, raise women's issues to the state and national political level, and reach out to diverse audiences. For more information on Institute events, contact Director Diane Hammer at 617-521-2480.