The Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project, directed by Carol Jacobsen, with legal director, Lynn D’Orio, is a grassroots, nonprofit effort working since 1990 to free unjustly convicted and/or sentenced women from life or long sentences who did not receive fair trials based on the facts of their cases, often involving abusive partners. The Project has freed 13 women (6 of them black women) from life sentences, supported many more for paroles, given testimony in court and public hearings, and have challenged human rights abuses of incarcerated women by the State.

Nonprofit films by Carol Jacobsen are narrated by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women who speak as social critics of the criminal-legal system that fails us all, women and people of color most of all. The films, co-sponsored by Amnesty International and toured worldwide by Human Rights Watch, are distributed free to educators, judges, lawyers, students and activists. Her critical writings on the misogyny and racism of the criminal-legal system have appeared in law, feminist and cultural journals as well as in criminal defense newsletters and other publications. Her recent nonprofit book, For Dear Life: Women’s Decriminalization and Human Rights in Focus is published by UM Press, 2019.

Carol Jacobsen is a feminist, artist/filmmaker, political organizer, writer and professor of Art, Women & Gender Studies and Human Rights at the University of Michigan. She is a founding director of the Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project, a grassroots effort that has helped to free 13 women from life sentences, and has supported many more for parole and challenged human rights abuses by the State. Her nonprofit artwork is represented by Denise Bibro Gallery, NYC, and Amnesty International. Her critical writings appear in feminist, law, art and other journals, and her recent nonprofit book, For Dear Life: Women’s Decriminalization & Human Rights in Focus is published by UM Press 2019.