February 8, 2024

Update

Meet the Newest Members of our Growing Prison Society Team
We are excited to announce the expansion of our staff, enhancing our ability to promote the health, safety, and dignity of people in prison and their families across the Commonwealth.

We are excited to announce the expansion of our staff, enhancing our ability to promote the health, safety, and dignity of people in prison and their families across the Commonwealth. Meet the newest members of our growing Prison Society team!

Leigh Owens is a human rights advocate dedicated to civic engagement and criminal justice reform, with an extensive background in political advocacy and community engagement. A lifelong Pennsylvanian, Leigh is experienced in leading initiatives focused on equal rights, diversity, inclusion, and democracy and has a strong track record of collaborating with elected officials, community leaders, and impacted individuals to address conditions within Pennsylvania correctional systems. Leigh serves as the Vice Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Board and is the Chair of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Prison Support Committee. Prior to joining the Society, Leigh was the founding director of PENNfranchise, an organization that promotes voting in jail. He has also served as Legislative Director for the SEIU PA State Council, and as the Director of Community Engagement for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Society’s dynamic team of experts to work towards common sense solutions to issues inside Pennsylvania’s correctional facilities and ensure that our most vulnerable citizens can maintain the safety and dignity they deserve.”  - Leigh

Sarah Estey joins the Prison Society team as an associate supporting our communications and development work, as well as helping staff our helpline. As a member of the helpline team, she’ll provide much-needed support to the 200-plus families and incarcerated people who call and write to the Prison Society asking for help every week. Sarah received her Master's degree in Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Public Policy in December from Northeastern University and interned with us during her final semester, showing her dedication, particularly in elevating our social media presence.

"I am thrilled to expand my work with the Prison Society and focus both on communications and development. I have loved enhancing our online presence on social media and have seen firsthand the impact our message has on people across Pennsylvania. This organization serves as a link between people in custody and their families, and I feel lucky to get to be a part of that support network. I look forward to learning from everyone on the Prison Society team and our network of volunteers as I continue in this role.” - Sarah

Says Executive Director, Claire Shubik-Richards, "Leigh and Sarah joining the Prison Society is a significant boost to our ability to positively impact the lives of people in prison, their families, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They are also both just really great people. We couldn't be more fortunate."

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