Keeping Women Out of Prison: A Community-Based Program That Works

Joyce Dougherty, THE PROGRAM for Women & Families, Inc.

Increasingly under-skilled, undereducated female offenders are sentenced to prison because there are no options. Typically the nature of their offenses are non-violent which means they pose little or no threat to the community. However because they lack the basic skills needed to secure employment, judges do not view them as viable candidates for community-based work release programs. This paper presents research on a community-based intermediate punishment program for female offenders that demonstrates the effectiveness of the program's comprehensive services tailored around the specific needs of the women. The paper also reviews the key components needed to effectively implement this model program.

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Updated 05/20/2006