Justice Impacted Women's Alliance

Lioness: Justice Impacted Women’s Alliance is an organization led by currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women in Texas with the purpose of ending the incarceration and systematic devaluing of the girls and women within our criminal legal system.

We envision a society where we and our sisters are spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically free from all forms of violence and harm in the criminal legal system. Our vision can be achieved through radical advocacy, education, community engagement, grassroot organizing and legislative action.

We believe that lived experience is the guiding force to change.

We believe in honoring each other’s differences while striving to bring one unified voice of currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women in Texas into all spaces.

We believe that jails and prisons perpetuate harm and violence against girls and women.

“Lioness: Justice Impacted Women’s Alliance (JIWA) is a nonprofit program sponsored by Build Up, Inc., a 501(c)3 public charity.”

About Us image
People across the state are being warehoused in dangerous temperatures. Lioness demands safe temperatures in Texas prisons.

Lioness and Statewide Leadership Council Joint Statement on the Heat Crisis

Read our statement and our demands.

  • PO Box 12051, Austin, Texas 78711

Contact us to receive the Lioness newsletter and links to join our monthly meetings. Add your name to the growing list of women ready to take up the fight on behalf of the girls and women incarcerated in Texas! (Let us know what city you are in so we can direct you to out regional groups as well)

Click to Read More and Donate!

Support us in our radical advocacy, education, community engagement, grassroot organizing and legislative empowerment!

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Jennifer Toon

Project Director

Lori Mellinger

Steering Committee Representative

Marci Marie Simmons

Community Outreach Coordinator

Angel Carroll


Alexa Garza


Amanda Cassidy-Trejo

Strategic Planning

Diane Schwiercz

Correspondence Manager

Chanel Jones

Regional Director-Waco

Arianna Mellinger

Regional Director-East Texas

Jennifer Owens

Regional Director-Dallas/Ft. Worth

Mandi Zapata

Regional Director-Austin

Dangerous Temperatures in Texas Prisons

These articles and studies provide valuable insights into the urgent need for climate control in prisons as extreme weather increases in Texas.

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Gender Disparities in Texas Prison Education

This series of articles delves into the stark inequalities within educational programming for women incarcerated in Texas prisons.

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Free Melissa Lucio

Learn more about the compelling evidence supporting her innocence and the ongoing efforts to secure her release.

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Youth Justice in Texas

Read about the history and the most recent corruption, abuse, and mismanagement within the youth justice system.

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Resources for Advocates

Quick links every advocate in Texas needs, as well as guides and charts.

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Comprehensive Data

Learn about the staggering numbers of women incarcerated in state and federal correctional facilities.

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  •  10/7/2023 10:30 AM
  •   620 E Main St 3rd floor, Gatesville, TX 76528, USA

Join us for a restorative Peace Walk that aims to bridge the divide between formerly incarcerated individuals and the community where they were once incarcerated. We invite residents, business owners, Faith leaders and other community leaders, to hear and share stories of inspiration and hope beyond the history of incarceration. We are so much more than our past. Come join us!

  •  8/19/2023 08:00 PM
  •   400 South 8th Street, Gatesville, TX, USA

Join us as we honor the lives lost and the continued suffering of the women and men in our Texas prisons during the heat crisis.

  •  7/18/2023 10:00 AM
  •   Capitol District, Austin, TX, USA

Advocates, family members and friends of the men and women incarcerated within Texas Department of Criminal Justice will convene at the Capitol to voice their concerns about the extreme temperatures in the prisons this summer. We are coming together to implore that our elected officials and community stakeholders unite to bring our loved ones relief.

  •  3/8/2023 11:00 AM - 3/8/2023 01:00 PM
  •   1100 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701, USA

This event is hosted by Lioness Justice Impacted Women's Alliance and the Statewide Leadership Council. Join us and State Representatives as we celebrate the success and voice the struggles of currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women in Texas.

T-shirts and Decals

Support a formerly incarcerated entrepreneur with a percentage going to Lioness!

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Coffee Mugs

Order a coffe mug when you make a $30 donation!

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