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Reentry Programs for Women Inmates

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Issue: 252 Dated: July 2005 Pages: 2-7
Date Published
July 2005
6 pages
Publication Series
This article presents evaluation findings for four NIJ (National Institute of Justice)-funded programs designed to meet the distinctive needs of women as they re-enter society after incarceration.
The evaluation of two Delaware therapeutic community drug treatment programs for women, the KEY and CREST programs, found that both programs were gender appropriate, but recommended that the CREST program have female-only groups after observing that women tended to withdraw when challenged by men in group sessions. Further, the evaluation recommended that both programs be less rigid and punitive with women in enforcing program rules. A second program, the Forever Free Program, is a voluntary intensive residential drug treatment program for women inmates at the California Institution for Women in Corona, CA. The residential program is followed by voluntary community residential treatment during parole. Relapse prevention is emphasized. Program participants reported being rearrested and/or convicted at a significantly lower rate than a comparison group (40 percent versus 60 percent). A third program, the Seeking Safety Program, is a cognitive-behavioral treatment program in Massachusetts that can be used with both men and women, in groups or individual therapy settings, to develop skills for combating both substance addiction and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The evaluation's failure to find significant positive impacts from the program for women suggests that program participants may not have transferred skills learned in the program once they were released and re-entered the community. The fourth program involved discharge planning offered by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections to female inmates. Programs address substance abuse, education and job training, life-skills training, and emotional and mental health. The evaluation demonstrated that positive changes did occur, but were not translated into reduced recidivism. 1 note

Date Published: July 1, 2005