We are organizing our annual Women in Prison Conference in Portland, Oregon – always a sold-out event with over 130 registered attendees. This year the conference will be over two days, Saturday, October 21, 2017 and Sunday, October 22, 2017 and focus on issues of women criminal defendants who are victims of domestic violence. Our keynote speaker will be Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. 

This conference brings to light pressing issues of justice-involved women, provides attendees with a deeper understanding of legal aspects of the criminal justice system, and enriches the collective knowledge base for future reforms for a more gender-responsive criminal justice system.  

We know there are a significant number of women in our prison, jails, and under supervision whose experiences of domestic violence contributed to their criminal activity. This year, we want to explore this further.

Some of the questions we are looking to discuss:

  • How does domestic violence contribute to women victims becoming criminal defendants?
  • How is domestic violence accounted for in a woman’s criminal defense?
  • What are the experiences and needs of domestic violence victims in jails and prisons?
  • What special considerations do domestic violence victims need to make in their reentry planning?
  • What are some ideas for solutions or reforms to create a more just system for victims of domestic violence who become justice-involved?

But, we are open to other topic ideas that help to further explore the issues of women criminal defendants who have experienced domestic violence. 

We are seeking speakers to present solo or on panels, and who believe in fairer treatment of women defendants in the criminal justice system and who have something constructive to share with conference attendees with varying levels of understanding of the criminal justice system and/or domestic violence. Previous speaking experience is excellent, but not required. We have a special interest in hearing from women who have these lived experiences.

Interested in applying to be a speaker? Complete and submit the application form by July 31, 2017. We will then select applicants for a final round of interviews. Applicants can download the application and email it to with the subject: “Conference Speaker Application” or send it by mail to Julia Yoshimoto, OJRC, PO Box 5248, Portland, OR 97208. Download the speaker application form.

Not interested in being a speaker, but have a great idea of a topic that should be discussed at the conference? We would love to hear from you as well. Complete the topic idea form by July 31, 2017. Download the topic idea form.

Questions? Contact Julia Yoshimoto at or at 503-944-2270 x210.