FREE!: Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment

Award Recipients - 2006

Kym Clark, Founder

FREE! is a New York City network of support, education and action for families affected by the incarceration of their loved ones, FREE! deals with challenges faced by members through a three-prong strategy of support, self-advocacy and community organizing.  Members are primarily African American and Latina women who experience provides the guiding voice for the organization.

FREE! convenes mutual support groups where members exchange experiences and teach each other about the criminal justice system.  No cost legal trainings and leadership development activities increase members’ knowledge so that they may effectively advocate for themselves and navigate the system on issues dealing with health, parole, transfer policy, and pro se representation.  FREE!  also assists with individual cases and make legal and social services referrals.  Gatherings and events such as potluck dinners, holiday parties and barbecues help build a supportive community.

FREE! engages in public education to raise awareness about families’ concerns and to organize for change of unjust policies.  For example, as a partner in the “New York Campaign for Telephone Justices,” FREE! continues it challenge the New York State Department of Corrections contract with Verizon/MCI, which charges exorbitant telephone fees for calls from prisoners to their families.


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