Safer Society Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit umbrella organization consisting of the Safer Society Press and the recently formed Fay Honey Knopp Institute. The mission of the Safer Society Press is to help build a society safe from sexual abuse and personal violence. The mission of the Fay Honey Knopp Institute is to minimize the harmful impact of parental incarceration on American children and families.
The groundwork for Safer Society Foundation was laid over 40 years ago when our founder, Fay Honey Knopp, began her work as a prison visitor. As she spent time with large numbers of inmates, she became convinced that major changes were needed in the criminal justice system. In 1975, under the auspices of the New York State Council of Churches, she founded the Prison Research Education/Action Project (PREAP). PREAP was a national project that engaged in advocacy research and action on nonrepressive alternatives to incarceration for offenders, remedies for victims, and primary and secondary prevention strategies. By 1979, PREAP’s work had become focused on society’s responses to sexual violence. As Ms. Knopp later wrote, she was advocating for more appropriate responses to sexual violence than, “warehousing the perpetrators in prison, neglecting sexual assault victims, and abdicating our responsibility to prevent such assaults.”
In the early 1980s few programs existed to treat either juvenile or adult sex offenders. Ms. Knopp wrote books describing these programs to assist others in starting their own programs. She also wrote a pamphlet addressed to judges and legislators advocating early intervention with and treatment of juvenile sex offenders to prevent a life-long history of offending.
These books, and others resulting from the work of PREAP, were published under the Safer Society Press imprint. As PREAP’s focus changed to sexual violence prevention and treatment, the decision was made to replace the PREAP name with Safer Society Press and Program.
In 1995, Safer Society Press and Program separated from the New York State Council of Churches and became an independent 501(c)3 organization, incorporating under the name of Safer Society Foundation. Since then, the organization has continued the work begun by founder Fay Honey Knopp.
The Safer Society Press is a publisher and bookseller of: (1) training and treatment materials to support the work of professionals engaged in the rehabilitation of adults who have committed sexually abusive acts, (2) training and treatment materials for professionals working with adolescents who have engaged in sexual abuse and other antisocial conduct, (3) books for adult and child victims of sexual abuse, and (4) books about sexual abuse prevention for parents and other caregivers. The Press also provides products and services in support of this constituency, such as a free searchable Treatment Provider Directory and the nationally recognized, Safer Society Survey of Current Treatment Practices.
The Fay Honey Knopp Institute is (1) a producer and publisher of resources aimed at minimizing the social and emotional impact of parental incarceration on children and families, (2) a provider of information and training for educational and counseling professionals on using their professional skills to support children and families impacted by parental incarceration, and (3) sponsor of the Addison County, Vermont, New Circle Mentoring program for children impacted by parental incarceration. In the spirit of Fay Honey Knopp, founder of Safer Society Foundation and life-long prison abolitionist, the Institute also seeks a strong role as an advocate for judicial and prison reforms aimed at ameliorating the impact of incarceration on children and families.