Erika Kates, Ph.D., of WCW discusses the U.S. bail system in the the New York Times.
Erika Kates, Ph.D. responds to the op-ed, “Why Are So Many Black Women Dying of AIDS?” by Laurie Shrage, which appeared in the New York Times on December 11, 2015:
Drawing on 2004 data, Laurie Shrage states that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women between the ages of 25 and 34. Shrage links the spike in HIV infections in women to the mass incarceration of black men who are the most likely partners of these women. Consequently, her policy suggestions include straightforward measures to reduce the skyrocketing population of incarcerated black men and improved enforcement of the Prison Rape Elimination Act. However, some epidemiologists are critical of the ‘hierarchical’ method of defining risk -- checking off a list of factors (e.g., men to men sex; drug use) in declining order of importance -- because they have learned that contributing factors overlap and are intertwined.
Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) maintains a strong legacy of research that can accelerate social change. Building on that, Kates teaches and practices participatory research—which is research that actively involves multiple groups of stakeholders on the issues being examined. Whenever possible, she includes representatives of the low-income women she’s studying.
The Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network mentioned in this interview is comprised of researchers; state legislators and/or their aides; personnel from the Department of Corrections and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; representatives of the Department of Public Health (which administers the state’s substance abuse services); the Office of Probation and Community Corrections; women’s commissions; women’s shelters; the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other advocacy groups; and formerly incarcerated women.
Boston Magazine, February 6, 2014
For Immediate Release: November 7, 2013
Women’s eNews, January 19, 2013
by Erika Kates, Ph.D.
The Boston Globe
April 10, 2012
Yvonne Abraham's column provides a succinct summary of the key arguments for reducing our prison population: saving money, reducing recidivism, and diverting people to appropriate mental health and substance abuse treatment programs (“Correcting corrections,’’ Metro, April 5).
These arguments are especially compelling when it comes to incarcerated women. Almost two-thirds of the women sentenced to our state prison are diagnosed with mental illness (compared to a just over a quarter of male inmates) and many also have substance abuse diagnoses. The data show 85 percent of women’s offenses are non-violent and are predominantly related to their mental illnesses and addictions.
Erika Kates, who recently joined the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) as a senior research scientist, previously served as research director at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her fields of most extensive experience include women in prison and the effect on women of the intersecting policies of welfare, workforce development, and higher education. She has published extensively, especially on the latter subject. The Educational Development Center recently included her in a book featuring 20 people who have made significant contributions to gender equity in education.
March 1, 2008