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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 and their families, the community and society as a whole.
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