Sarah Nawab

  • Hosted by Prisoners' Legal Services of Massachusetts
  • Sponsored by Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, General Electric Company
  • Service location Boston, Massachusetts
  • Law school Northeastern University School of Law
  • Issue area Prisoners' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Sarah will advocate on behalf of incarcerated women in Massachusetts and serve their unique legal needs through trauma-informed representationrights education, policy reform, and increasing public awareness  

Women, and especially women of color, are the fastest-growing population in prisons and jails todayHowever, because incarceration has traditionally been framed as a men’s issuethe unique challenges women face while in custody are erased and their needs remain unmet. Acknowledging how incarceration affects women, specifically, is critical to advocating for those needs. An overwhelming majority of incarcerated women have experienced sexual violence, which is then compounded by their experiences in custody. Women are also more likely to be primary caregivers and have distinct medical needs.  

As a woman of color, Sarah is motivated to advocate on behalf of her fellow women of color, many of whom are disproportionately impacted by the criminal and carceral systems.  

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Sarah will provide direct, trauma-informed legal services and rights education to incarcerated women in order to ensure that necessary medical treatment is provided and that women are protected from predatory assaults. She will also connect legal services providers with community organizations to foster a stronger reentry network for women and will increase the public’s awareness of the unique challenges incarcerated women face through legislative advocacy and a media campaign. Through both direct representation and systemic reform efforts, this project will fully meet the unique legal needs of women in custody.


Fostering a More Just Society

Bor-Zale, Nawab and Warren Awarded Equal Justice Works Fellowships

My life experiences taught me the value of empathy, and it is empathy that is at the heart of trauma-informed representation.

Sarah Nawab /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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