Since 1999, western Massachusetts-based Voices from Inside has offered creative writing workshops where incarcerated and recently-released women write their stories in their own diverse voices. Voices from Inside’s mission also includes bringing the women’s writing to the larger community, to increase awareness of the human and financial costs of prisons. When Ellen Watson visited a workshop held in the Hampden County House of Corrections, the courage and humanity of the women she met there impressed her deeply, and led to the idea of hosting a Voices reading at Smith. In fall 2005, a packed Weinstein auditorium witnessed firsthand the dignity and creativity of Voices from Inside writers.