Bar News - April 20, 2016
Women’s Bar Works with Corrections Staff on ‘Women to Women Project’
By: Lindsey Gray and Laura Maistrosky
Want to help women in need? Here’s your chance. The New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association and the New Hampshire Department of Corrections have jointly created the Women to Women Project, to unite New Hampshire licensed attorneys with sentenced female inmates of the New Hampshire State Prison for Women.
The purpose of the project is to provide legal information on various topics of interest to the female inmates. The project will not only provide a needed service to the female inmates, but will also advance the NHWBA’s goal of establishing public service opportunities that focus on improving the lives of women and children in New Hampshire. The project provides an opportunity for licensed attorneys to offer limited legal advice and information to an underserved population on a wide variety of legal issues.
As part of the project, the NHWBA Public Service Committee will facilitate limited bi-monthly information sessions at the prison, focusing on various areas of the law. The project is intended to provide information only. Licensed attorneys who volunteer their time are not expected to represent inmates as clients in legal proceedings. Additionally, the project is not intended to offer support, advice or information regarding any claims against or involving the NH Department of Corrections. Each information session will feature a specific topic or topics for discussion.
A team of three to five volunteer attorneys will attend each scheduled session. Ideally, each team of volunteers will include attorneys with backgrounds in some of the following fields: family law, criminal law, landlord/tenant law, collections law, juvenile law, health/disability law, and other general civil matters. Additionally, each team may include a representative from an interested governmental agency, such as the NH Department of Health and Human Services.
All licensed attorneys in New Hampshire are welcome and encouraged to participate in the project. To participate, volunteering attorneys will have to be approved by the Department of Corrections and attend one training session. The training sessions will be held at various times throughout the year to accommodate volunteers’ schedules. For further information regarding the project, or to schedule a training session, please contact NHWBA Executive Director Gretchen Pyles or NHWBA Public Service Committee Chair Lindsey Gray.