Women make up a growing share of incarcerated populations, and they have different needs than justice-involved men. But what happens after release?
We help the women achieve what is most important to them—finding safe and affordable housing, preparing for job interviews, reuniting with their children, gaining peer support from other women, learning household budgeting and skills for daily life, and much more.
Meet Joanna…With guidance and support from our staff at Women at the Well-Broward, Joanna was able to overcome the challenges many women face upon re-entering their communities. As a participant in our Women Empowered Behind Walls (WEBW) program prior to her release, we began the process of re-entry, by conducting mock interviews with her, providing 10 copies of her resume, and supplying her with a verified list of felon friendly employers. After her release, in our NewWoman program, Joanna was provided clothing, hygiene items, gift cards, bus passes, and most important- emotional and spiritual support and accountability. She also had access to free or low-cost community resources and services.
While Joanna was incarcerated, she became skilled at crocheting blankets and after spending 5 years in the Coleman work camp for Women. A significant challenge that returning citizens face is re-entry into the labor market. After working for a few businesses, Joanna realized her background prevent her from advancing in the companies. She found talking about her criminal record or the previous incarceration was a taboo topic, so she decided to take the entrepreneur route.
Her experience in prison and her transition back home led her to turn her crochet passion into a business-Divine Designz Crochet Shoppe! Two years later she owns 2 businesses and co-owners a 3rd business. Joanna is living on her own with her 2 sons and is a productive citizen.
She has her eyes set on a very bright future.