The Need

What is the need?

  • More than 30,000 people are held in county prisons or jails in Pennsylvania
  • Over 90 percent of the inmates incarcerated in PA state prisons will eventually be returned to the community
  • National recidivism rate for women is 58%
  • In our area, recidivism rate is 30%
  • 65 counties face serious overcrowding problems
  • 12 county jails – over 15% of the total in the state – were built in the 1800s

Who are these women?

  • Young, poor, under-educated (average age 25)
  • Single mothers (66% have children under age 18)
  • Non-violent offenders (forgery, stealing)
  • Substance abusers
  • Psychiatrically troubled
  • Physical and sexual abuse victims

What are their offenses?

  • Up to 80% have severe, long-standing substance abuse problems
  • 21% are drug violators
  • 54% have used illicit drugs in the month prior to their crimes
  • 48% were under the influence of either alcohol or another drug when they committed their crime