Life After Life in Prison: The Bedroom Project

19 Jul 2018 2018 CONTAINER

“The Bedroom Project” comprises portraits of 17 formerly incarcerated women lifers in their current bedrooms.

Featuring: Sara Bennett

Presented and Curated by

Sara Bennett

Special thanks to


In Memory of Barton Biggs, Katie Kitchen and Paul Kovach, Providence House, Richard Rothman, Alice Schlesinger

For the past four years, I have been photographing formerly incarcerated women in their bedrooms. All were convicted of serious crimes, mostly homicide, and spent 14 to 35 years in a maximum-security prison. By the time they came up for parole, they were all profoundly changed, yet most of them were repeatedly denied release because of the crimes they had committed decades earlier.

These women were open and trusting enough to allow me into their most private spaces—their bedrooms—and to share the handwritten comments that accompany the photos. Like me, they hope this work will shed light on the pointlessness of extremely long sentences and arbitrary parole denials, and thus help their friends still in prison: women (and men) like them who deserve a chance at freedom.


Sara Bennett has been a public defender specializing in battered women and the wrongly convicted. She draws attention to the problems of mass incarceration through her photographs of women who spent decades in prison. Her work has been featured in, among others, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour/Art Beat, PDN Photo of the Day, and the Marshall Project, and has hung in a variety of venues including the “Capture Your Freedom” exhibition on Roosevelt Island, the FENCE 2018, and the Ceres Gallery in New York City.

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