Although all of our alumni are currently enrolled in college,
re-entry after years in prison was emotionally, mentally and financially challenging.
Resources and support were virtually non-existent, as were mentorships to facilitate transitioning into an academic program outside the prison.
women in prison have often accrued significant debt; carry the stigma of incarceration; remain under-educated and barred from employment opportunities. This traps them in a cycle of poverty with a higher risk of their children being imprisoned. Education is the single most important factor in breaking this cycle.
Our goal is to reduce recidivism rates of women by half by 2021.
The Washington department of corrections has identified
106 women who will release into King County alone in the next two years.
Over half (66%) of our students at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) are scheduled to release within five years. We are expanding our program to Mission Creek Correction Center this spring. Over 40 new students releasing within four years have applied for enrollment.
Now is the time to research, design, establish, and evaluate a higher education reentry program for women. Data collection, gender-specific program design, mentorship training, and financial assistance for formerly incarcerated women are critical to ending the cycle of incarceration disproportionately affecting low income and minority women.
We are currently in the early stages of creating a collaborative higher education reentry mentoring program for women releasing from Washington State Prisons.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more or get involved.