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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200724 Find in a Library
Title: Women Empowered for Change: A Model Program for Modified Therapeutic Communities
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:65  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:60-63
Author(s): Cynthia N. Hull; David L. Manning
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the model program Women Empowered for Change (WEC), a therapeutic housing unit for female inmates.
Abstract: Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) of Arlington County Inc. and the Alexandria, VA, Office of Sheriff is a nonprofit community-based organization that has been restoring offenders to productive citizenship and providing alternatives to incarceration since 1974. It provides opportunities for citizen volunteers to work with inmates. Also, nonprofit and public agencies receive volunteer services by court-ordered nonviolent offenders. WEC is a therapeutic and practical housing unit managed by OAR, and provides programs for participants while they are incarcerated, and support and services after they are released. WEC participants are located in a separate housing unit from the Alexandria Detention Center, with the females choosing to live and participate jointly with others trying to overcome dysfunctional and painful behavior. Goals include fostering supportive relationships that may be maintained after release, as well as learning how to cope with life’s issues on their own. In addition to counseling and “community” meetings, the women have the opportunity to participate in life skills classes, such as parenting, women’s health issues, anger management, employment readiness, and developing healthy relationships. As part of the program requirements, the women also provide direct community service. Survey results show that, of the 642 women that have entered the program since its inception, 312 have graduated and returned to the community directly from the detention center. Using the agency’s standard employment follow-up protocol, 59 percent have remained employed throughout the 180-day reporting period. This signifies no further incarcerations.
Main Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Female inmates; Model programs
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Correctional facilities; Deterrence effectiveness; Effectiveness; Exemplary programs; Program design
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