The mission of Safer Society Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is to provide services and resources for preventive and restorative responses to sexual and social violence.
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.