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The mission of The unPrison Project to empower, inspire, and cultivate critical thinking, life skills, self-reflection, and peer mentoring for women and girls in prison as tools to plan, set goals, and prepare for a successful life after their release, and at the same time bring public awareness about the needs of incarcerated women and their children.
As its founder and motivational educator, Deborah Jiang Stein uses her unique story of hard won transformation to teach and plant seeds of change so when the women are released, they won’t return.
We feel the ongoing, positive results of The unPrison Project will benefit our communities for generations to come.
From Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking:
Deborah Jiang Stein has beaten the cycle of inter-generational incarceration, despite the odds against her – multiracial, born in a federal prison to a heroin-addicted mother.
Her story offers hope to the possibility of personal transformation for anyone. Especially for the nearly two million children with a parent in prison. No punches pulled. Deborah is evidence of the magnificent resilience of the human spirit.
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Today, over 150,000 women are incarcerated in the United States, and 2.3 million children under the age of eighteen have a parent in prison. The UPP touches them through their incarcerated mothers and in detention centers.
Deborah visits and speaks in women’s prisons with a message of hope and inspiration for change. To date, the UPP has already reached 10,000 incarcerated women, or 7% of the total female prison population in the U.S. Next stop, bringing the UPP to all 150,000 incarcerated women, with presentations in each prison in every state.