From: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
June 17 2012
In the face of every female prisoner in Wisconsin, Alice Pauser sees her daughter: A woman who committed a crime, yes, but who nonetheless deserves love, compassion and the chance to make something of her life.
Pauser’s daughter, Genevieve, was just 19 when she was convicted of three felonies – including being party to the crime of first-degree intentional homicide – in 2002. Sentenced to life in prison, Genevieve will not be eligible for supervised release until 2025.
Instead of giving in to despair, Pauser channeled it into action. The result was The Demeter Foundation. Named for a Greek goddess who searched the underworld for her lost daughter, the foundation assists incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in Wisconsin. For prisoners, the foundation advocates for humane treatment and civil rights. After release, the foundation provides workshops on education, job readiness and self-esteem.
Pauser, who works full-time at Access to Independence, a disability rights organization in Madison, runs the foundation before and after work and on weekends. It is supported entirely through donations.
Through the foundation, Pauser, 56, of Fitchburg, has helped dozens of women. She successfully lobbied for a state law that makes it illegal for prison guards to have sex with inmates. And she has forged a closer bond with her daughter than either of them ever thought possible.
Read the rest here.
The Demeter Foundation:
Mail: P.O. Box 259283, Madison, WI 53725
Phone: (608) 298-3563