Friday, June 15, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM MDT
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4223 Montgomery Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

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Elisa Kawam 

Women and Incarceration: A Social Work Response 

June 15th, 2018 1pm-4pm




The incarceration rates for women have continued to climb. Between 1980 and 2014, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700%, rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 222,061 in 2014. Only 5% of the world's female population lives in the U.S., but the U.S. accounts for nearly 30% of the world's incarcerated women.

Women in the criminal justice system have been made to feel invisible, ashamed, and unworthy. They are often silenced by violence and discrimination. As social workers, how can we facilitate and support their successful transition back into our community? During this workshop we will analyze the common circumstances surrounding women’s entry into the criminal justice system, as well as the challenges and barriers they face both in the system and once they return to the community.  We will identify the current systems response to women exiting incarceration, and discern more effective responses from the literature, best practices and our personal experience. We will discuss what a trauma informed, gender specific approach looks like when working with this population, which includes examining factors of trauma, race, poverty, addiction, mental illness and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

 Our Esteemed Presenters:

KC Quirk, received her MSW from Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan in 1988. She has held positions as the Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico and prior to that as the Executive Director of Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, Inc. in Santa Fe. In 2017 she “retired” as the CEO of Crossroads for Women in Albuquerque, an organization that focuses on helping homeless and formerly incarcerated women obtain the skills and resources necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. Aside from her leadership roles, her work experience includes designing and developing progressive direct services and outreach and education programming focused on supporting disenfranchised communities and vulnerable populations and addressing issues of disparity based on race, class, gender identity, and sexual orientation.


Queva Hubbard, has been in and out of incarceration and on probation/parole for the past 14yrs. She was an addict and sold drugs all 14 of those years. In 2008 she was sentenced to prison for the use and possession of a controlled substance which she served a year in the department of corrections. Upon her release she was placed on probation/parole, with no requirement for counseling or treatment. The cycle of her addiction and illegal activity was on going. In 2014 she was sentenced to prison again to serve 3yrs in the department of corrections for the possession and distribution of a controlled substance. In late 2014 Queva had had enough, she enrolled herself into a program by the name of RDAP (Residential Drug Abuse Program). Which she completed and soon after became a mentor. Even after that completion she knew she needed more assistance integrating back into society. She was released from prison May 2016 and went into a residential treatment program known as Crossroads for Women. Her most current accomplishment is the completion of that program, where she is now a peer support specialist for others during and after the program. She also completed her probation and parole successfully with no infractions. She is currently enrolled in college to major in Business Administration and later to pursue a degree in social work.


Sheila Ciminera, LCSW graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 2012 with a Master’s in Social Work.  Over the past 12 years, she has had the privilege of being a harm reduction service provider, a case manager, program developer, individual and group therapist, clinical supervisor, and trainer. She specializes in working with individuals coping with addictions, reintegration after incarceration, and trauma. She also has a professional focus of working with other helpers on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma


Stephanie Glynn is a current resident at The Pavilions a Crossroads for Women transitional living program. For twenty years she has struggled with active addiction. Stephanie was first placed on probation in 2014 for trafficking charges. She struggled through her first two years of probation, as she was still actively using methamphetamine. In November of 2016 Stephanie stopped reporting to adult probation which led to her arrest in March of 2017. Stephanie had never sought any professional help or formal treatment for her addiction until August of 2017 when she entered The Pavilions transitional living program upon court order. She will graduate the program in August of 2018. Since entering the program she has achieved many accomplishments in personal growth, independent living skills, and family reunification. Stephanie has worked as a vocational intern within the program since November of 2017. She has worked closely with staff to advocate for needs of clients and herself as well as learning useful professional skills to carry with her into the workforce. Stephanie plans on pursuing a degree in Macroeconomics. She wants to work on policy change and criminal justice reform on a macro level. Despite her circumstances Stephanie has not let these charges dictate who she is or what she can accomplish in her recovery.


Paula Apodaca is a lifetime resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Paula spent her childhood being raised in a violent, sexually abusive and drug involved environment. Paula was in and out of different schools and spent the three best years of her childhood living with her grandmother when her mother went to prison, removing Paula from the only stability she had ever known.

By age 13 Paula was learning how to survive on the streets and in juvenile facilities. She experienced physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of several partners and began to self-medicate with drugs. At the age of 16 Paula became pregnant wither first daughter. In total Paula has had 4 children although she lost custody of one daughter due to her drug use and homelessness and lost custody of another daughter when Paula’s brother sexually molested her.

Her life continued to spiral out of control and she found herself faced with a 4 year prison sentence. This was the turning point for Paula. She was given a chance to go to a transitional housing program- Maya’s Place where she began the long and difficult journey of healing and recovery. This was where she found her foundation of support, unconditional love, family reunification, vocational support, housing and substance abuse counseling.

Paula has overcome many obstacles even in her recovery. Both her uncle and father were lost in very tragic ways in the last two years, but it was tools she gained in her recovery that gave her the strength to handle what life throws her way.

Today, Paula has joint custody of her two sons and has been reunited with one of her daughters (after 8 long years). Paula works as a home health care aid assisting her grandmother, who just finished chemotherapy and one other client. Paula has found love in a healthy non-abusive relationship and is engaged to be married. Her plan is to return to school to get her ED and then work on her pursuit of a social work degree.


Carissa McGee is a Motivational Speaker who leverages her lived experience in a women’s correctional facility to inspire others to find hope. Carissa was introduced to the idea of motivational speaking while serving a 21 year prison sentence in New Mexico and it was through the transformational journey of incarceration that Carissa found her true calling: giving hope back to those who have been suppressed by their inner thoughts, destructive behaviors, and societal norms.

Carissa is also a state Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW) and uses her expertise as a Community Faculty member for the New Mexico Peer Education Project (PEP) through the University of New Mexico’s Project ECHO. PEP is a prison-based Peer Education program that educates the inmate population on prevention, treatment and harm reduction strategies for common infections and diseases; highlighting Hepatitis C and addiction.

Ultimately, Carissa has a passion to uplift and inspire those who are discouraged, isolated, and mentality trapped. She believes every person deserves the right support, opportunities, and education needed to overcome personal obstacles that prevent them from reaching their fullest potential.

Register Now! Member $30 / Student Members $10

Non-Members $50 / Student Non-Members $15