Interview with Alex Andrews from SWOP Behind Bars

“I want sex work decriminalised in my lifetime worldwide. It’s time that the government took its mitts off women’s bodies and they let us have bodily autonomy and do what we want”, says Alex Andrews. She is a sex worker. Alex is the plaintiff in the Woodhull Lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FOSTA in the United States. She sat on the board of NSWP for a while. “My goal is to raise the voice of sex workers and have them heard.” She is one of the founders of SWOP (Sex Worker Outreach Project) Behind Bars.

It all started when she got into a twitter fight with a corrections officer of one of the largest women prisons in North America. He messaged her saying, “I hate my organisation as much as you do”. This was the start of a journey. He advised her to write newsletters to the prisoners.

Since the inception of SWOP Behind Bars (SBB) in May 2016, the organisation has sent out over 25,000 newsletters to prisoners in 14 states. They have coordinated over 2,000 pen pals, more than 20,000 books through Amazon Wishlists and 3,000 book donations to prison libraries.

They provide reentry support for released prisoners and have published a reentry guide to help incarcerated people transition back to their community. They give them a smartphone, connection, protection and the resources to reconnect.

Watch this video to learn more about the incredible journey of Alex and the founding and establishment of SWOP Behind Bars. Lets’ talk about sex and the many facets of sex work that are left unacknowledged. Why are they in jail for killing their assaulter and defending themselves? Is it fair to be imprisoned for child trafficking when you’re sex-trafficked yourself? Should a woman have the right to make decisions over their own body? Find out more!

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