Mission Point Press, Traverse City, Mich.
Cart 0

Pamela K. Withrow

Pam Withrow was born into an Indiana farm family near the midpoint of the 20th century, moved to Michigan in the turbulent ’60s, and was a pioneering woman in the Michigan Department of Corrections. After a shotgun marriage, she returned to college, divorced, became a welfare mother, and completed a BA at Michigan State University. With the help of a bus-driver boyfriend, she began work with the Michigan Department of Corrections in 1976. After only two years, she was promoted to become the first woman to supervise a camp for male felons. This was followed by work as the housing deputy inside Jackson prison, which led to her appointment as the first woman to head a male prison, the Michigan Dunes Correctional Facility. She then served as the warden of the Michigan Reformatory, one of three penitentiaries in the state. She introduced cognitive work with prisoners while at the Reformatory, and it is now used throughout the department.

She was named Warden of the Year by the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents, received honorary doctorates from Grand Valley and Ferris State Universities, and was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.