Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

From Cell to Home Project - Spring 2019 Newsletter
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Benjamin Franklin, who founded the University of Pennsylvania more than 250 years ago, famously said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We largely ignore his advice. 

As a society, we typically avoid preemptive action that could prevent long-term harm. One example is how we address violence and abuse. Few resources are dedicated to prevention while we devote substantial sums and efforts to address the consequences – police, courts, jails and prisons, medical and mental health care, social services, and more. 

In this newsletter, we focus on incarcerated women, one by-product of our failure to prevent and to address, with early intervention, abuse.


Read more here 

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Although reforming the criminal justice system and reducing mass incarceration have become mainstream ideas, women already in the system have limited recourse. That is why the From Cell to Home project is necessary. For many of the inmates, this will be their last hope to leave prison and return to their families and communities.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, in December 2018, granted clemency to the first woman lifer since 1990.

March 2019, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons heard the first two petitions for clemency prepared by our students. 


Read more here


UPDATE: June 2019 - Getting through the commutation process is difficult and long in this state. Candidate Naomi Blount, got through the last hurdle and will be free. At a TEDx event, Naomi performed a song she wrote about her life.


We congratulate our faculty, alumni and all of the students working with From Cell to Home. And we thank the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice for their support of the project.


Incarcerated | Naomi Blount | TEDxMuncyStatePrison

Coming this fall:

  • Panel on violence against women in the military
  • Symposium on female genital mutilation/cutting in the U.S.