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Witness to Mass Incarceration


Witness to Mass Incarceration (Witness)'s work is guided by the belief the pathway to freedom, safety, and success in reducing recidivism for formerly incarcerated people (FIP) is to create social enterprise solutions and foster a movement for economic empowerment that will build generational wealth for FIP. We are committed to long-term and permanent solutions to improve the quality of life for the incarcerated and FIP.

Since Witness was founded in 2016, we have launched a series of initiatives designed to change the narrative about incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people from invisibility and victimization to empowerment through documentation, leadership training, organizing, and advocacy. All our initiatives are intended to make life safer for people who are incarcerated and to help people build successful lives once they are released. We focus on improving conditions of confinement through our work to end sexual violence in confinement. We have designed and are implementing a new approach to reentry. We respond to events which require immediate action, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our conviction at Witness that mass incarceration will only be reduced and changed when the nation understands the extent of the injustice and horror of the entire criminal legal system. We believe that once a person sees the human faces of incarcerated people and hears their story, they will be more likely to support alternatives to incarceration.


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Katherine Fisfis (she/her) is a senior voice performance major who currently studies with Dr. JR Fralick. Recent roles include Virtù in L'incoronazione di Poppea at Playhouse Square, Deino in the American midwestern premiere of We've Got Our Eye on You, First Lady in Die Zauberflöte at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and Anna Glawari in The Merry Widow. This fall, Katherine intends to pursue her master's degree in voice performance. She would like to thank her teachers, friends, family, and Josh for helping her get to where she wants to be.

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