Women Beyond Bars: An exploration of the causes and effects of the mass incarceration of women in West Virginia



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“It was something that I feared I would really never have back,” Kelli Robinson said about her relationship with her children.

Kelli struggled with addiction for years. When she was arrested for daytime burglary she lost her shared custody rights to her two sons. She also lost her driver’s license after a third DUI.

It was very important to her to rebuild her bond with her children, and after being released from her 45-day stay in jail, Kelli worked to restore those relationships until she regained custody rights. Through the West Virginia Jobs & Hope program, Kelli was able to regain her driver’s license, something she thought she wouldn’t have back for at least another seven years.

Now Kelli volunteers at the concession stand during games to help raise money for her son’s high school sports team.


mass incarceration, West Virginia, women