Women Serving Life Sentence – FFL has expanded its educational initiatives to include the unique and

specific challenges that life sentenced women experience.  This small (about 200) but significant

population of women lifers has been negatively impacted by a profound lack of public awareness about

their crimes, rehabilitation, contributions to returning women and their communities, and further

marginalization within and by the DOC and legal community. Partly due to their remote locations in

central (Muncy) and northwest (Cambridge Springs) Pennsylvania, women are far from resources that

urban based universities and grassroots organizations have been providing for the male population for

decades.  This manifests in the lack of women granted commutation, limited inmate directed groups, a

shortage of educational opportunities, a meaningful chance to have a voice in policy changes, free legal

aid, under trained staff to meet their unique needs and dilapidated buildings and furnishings. Despite this,

women lifers are resilient. Many women are committed to live a purposeful life by giving back to the

prison community and to those returning home.  Submitted by Ellen Melchiondo, (Fight 4 Lifers)


From left to right: Ali Braxton,chair of the youth group LEAD Ellen Melchiondo Facilitator of Community Capacity Building Curriculum at SCI Muncy William Goldsby Founder & Chair of Reconstruction, Inc. Jamal Black Reconstruction II Coordinator Mae Hadley, mother of a lifer at SCI Muncy