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Road to Reentry

Why Our Work is Important

The number of women behind bars is increasing at a statistically higher rate than that of men, primarily due to mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. This number includes nearly one million women per year since the beginning of the New Millennium. The vast majority of this population of women eventually will be released and unfortunately more than half will not find success reentering their communities.

As a result, the recidivism rate is disproportionately higher for the population of women who do not find employment following release from prison or jail versus those who do. When former female ex-offenders find and maintain positive social interactions through work, the likelihood of returning to former lifestyles for financial and emotional support is dramatically reduced, as is the recidivism rate.

Utilizing best practices as well as evidenced-based research in second-chance policy reform, Reentry Center for Women helps reduce the female prison population by providing the necessary self-sufficiency skills to female parolees and probationers.

Soar to New Heights

Restoring Hope To Justice-Involved Women

Women offenders have special needs that often are not addressed during incarceration. As a result, transitioning from incarceration can be challenging and even impossible for many.


In 2021, there were roughly 228 women who returned to the Triangle area from state prison and in 2022, that number increased slightly to 232 (NC DPS - Office of Research & Planning, 2023). Also in 2022, there were more than 800 women serving their sentences on community probation throughout the Triangle area. Of both parolees and probationers, more than 80% were mothers of minor children and had the primary responsibility for their care prior to and following incarceration. Ex-incarcerated women are more likely than their male peers to experience higher levels of poverty, homelessness and abuse following a jail or prison term--making the post-prison transition much more difficult.

Research suggests that focusing on the differences between female and male conduits to criminality as well as applying gender-specific interventions, results in more positive outcomes. In the end, the application of specialized practices in criminal justice reform equals greater success for women ex-offenders when attempting to re-establish new pathways to society. It is also proven that the implementation of community-based, gender-responsive practices contributes to lower rates of female recidivism which in turn benefits justice-involved women, their families, the community and society as a whole.

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