Our Team



Beatrice Codianni is SWAN’s founder and Executive Director. She is a lifelong political activist and a current Just Leadership USA Fellow. Beatrice has not only lived through the realities of street-based sex work and addiction, she also survived over fifteen years of incarceration.

Beatrice Codianni is a longtime community activist who was sentenced to 17 years prison for racketeering. As a high ranking member of the Latin Kings, she used her community activism skills to fight for jobs, education and mental health and substance abuse treatment for disenfranchised youths.

During her time in federal prison Beatrice was active in the Danbury FCI AIDS Awareness Group which sought to educate women in prison about HIV prevention and lessen the stigma against HIV+ people. She also taught reading skills to the women at Danbury. In prison her greatest achievement was taking the Bureau of Prisons to court in an effort to eliminate cross-gender pat searches for women who had been sexually or physically abused. Beatrice was granted an exemption that opened the door for other women in the federal prison system to apply for an exemption.

Beatrice is now the Managing Editor of Reentry Central, a nationally recognized website on reentry and criminal justice reform issues. She is also co-founder of the groups Real Women Real Voices, the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, and the Women’s Resettlement Working Group. Additionally she is on the Connecticut Bail Fund’s Community Advisory Board.