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LeTonia A. Jones has been an activist and advocate working to end violence against women and girls for over 15 years.  She started working with victims of domestic violence and their children in 1997 as a children’s advocate and crisis counselor at a local domestic violence program. As KDVA’s Advocacy Programs Administrator, LeTonia serves as an expert witness in cases involving domestic violence, oversees KDVA’s prevention efforts, and directs KDVA’s work with incarcerated battered women.    
 
Ms. Jones leads KDVA’s Battered Women’s Clemency Project. Working closely with the Department of Public Advocacy, KDVA advocates for the release of battered women who have been incarcerated for crimes related to their victimization. The Clemency Project also serves as a support network for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated battered women and their families. In 2007, LeTonia’s advocacy played a primary role in the release of 6 women (through commutation of sentences or pardons) who had been incarcerated as a result of domestic violence.   Ms. Jones also manages KDVA’s Women and Incarceration Project, a pilot project that matches incarcerated battered women with mentors in an effort to help ease their reentry into their communities.
 
At the heart of LeTonia’s work, is a desire to ensure that the stories of women, who are the most silenced among us, are heard. The Swallowtale Project, a jail-based writing project funded through a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, gives her the opportunity to help incarcerated women tell their stories.   
 
Your financial support ensures that KDVA can continue its efforts to support victims of domestic violence – even those in jails and prisons – across the Commonwealth.  So far this summer, you have helped us raise over $2,000.  As we near the close of this Kentucky summer, stretch with us to help us get closer to our goal of $7,500.  To you and me, $10 is the cost of one lunch out with friends, to the women that the KDVA incarceration projects support, through innovative and creative advocacy, it means certain knowledge that their victimization has not gone unnoticed.  
 
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The SwallowTale Project
 
 
In April 2012, The SwallowTale Project was introduced to the public via the KDVA newsletter. This project is another way that KDVA continues to be committed to using the arts to inform, transform, and heal. The SwallowTale Project was designed to use writing and images to bring forth the stories and experiences of women who find themselves incarcerated across the state of Kentucky. The Project has since morphed into a book that will be released September 2, 2012 at the Green Lantern in Lexington, KY. The book will include writings from women who were or are incarcerated at a federal women’s camp in Lexington, KY and in the Fayette County Detention Center. Author, filmmaker, and poet, Bianca Spriggs and photographer, Angel Clark merged their talents to bring forth these powerful stories and unforgettable images to the public eye. The book also serves as a guide for other writers who would like to start or contribute to a SwallowTale Project in their own areas.
 
The SwallowTale Project book will be released at the annual Wild Women of Poetry event at the 
Green Lantern. This event is hosted by Bianca Spriggs and presented by the Kentucky Women Writers
Conference. The event will also feature a photo exhibition of The SwallowTale Project by Angel Clark. The event will also conduct a book drive so that more books can find their ways into the hands of incarcerated women.
 
If you are a writer and would like more information about getting involved with The Swallowtale Project in your area, please join us for an informational at Morris Books on September 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM. For more information, please  contact LeTonia Jones at 502-209-5382 or via e-mail at  ljones@kdva.org.

 
 

 
 
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