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Women for Justice Records

Identifier: 2008-002

The collection is organized in eleven series and housed in 6 boxes. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the material is the correspondence between the inmates and the organization. The series are organizational material, administrative documents, Goree unit TDC, correction system: laws & conditions, volunteer program, client services, Christmas projects, external correspondence, published information and photographic materials. Of special interest are inmate correspondence, program records and organizational information. These records document to some degree the deplorable conditions of Texas prison system during this era.


  • 1971-1997

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


7.0 linear feet

Historical Information

Women for Justice was a model program, which started in 1971 and gradually ended around 1997. The program, ran by women, became an independent organization in 1977 after originally being a part of the Women in Action’s Criminal Justice Division. It was dedicated to working with inmates, ex-offenders, all criminal justice agencies, Houston/Harris County Courts, and Goree State Prison.

The primary purpose of the program was to teach offenders to deal with the trauma of incarceration while they awaited trial or served short term sentences. Moreover, the organization strived to help inmates and offenders understand the court system as it pertained to them. The program tracked as many clients as possible so that they could be assisted in making future plans. Additionally, a community based Resource Center was established. Social services were provided to inmates, ex-offenders, parolees and their families in a non-threatening atmosphere by a group of citizen volunteers aptly named Volunteers in Action.

The services provided varied greatly. The Christmas project, which was conducted during the week of Christmas, provided inmates with donated socks, toiletries, apparel, etc. Job counseling was provided free of charge to help former inmates and parolees in search of employment. There were daily/weekly prison visitations/workshops given by Volunteers in Action. Women for Justice received financial support from numerous organizations and companies such as Shell Oil Company, Exxon U.S.A, and First Presbyterian Church. In addition, the M.D. Anderson Foundation donated a house, which allowed for the organization to effectively perform daily activities and operations.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mrs. Rebecca Howard (with assistance from her daughter Beverly Huffman), 2008

Guide to the Women for Justice Records
Sharleen Guide and Advaith Krishna
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Revision Statements

  • 2021-07-15: As a part of the 2021 Special Collections reparative description project, Brooks Whittaker added subject headings to this finding aid to better represent individuals and promote discoverability of collection materials.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA