Goodwill Industries of East Texas is proud to have received a $35,000 grant to expand the Re-Entry Program designed for women returning to the Smith County area upon release from prison.
A Second Chance for Her (SCH) will combine job readiness skills, counseling, soft skills training and job placement assistance to women returning to Smith County from prison incarceration, more than doubling the current enrollment and helping offenders successfully reintegrate into the community.
SCH will address three of the top six factors for re-arrest for women who are nonviolent, non-sexually based offenders released by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. Education and employment problems are high in the list of six as are financial problems. A parolee must maintain employment to stay out of prison and without the ability to support herself and her family, an offender will likely commit property crimes to gain income. Family and marital problems are a factor with resolutions helped by counseling.
SCH will help women released from prison re-enter the Smith County community prepared to stay out of prison, support herself and her children, and become a productive part of our society. By learning how to find, secure and retain employment, the women in this program have a a chance to meet their probation and basic needs responsibilities. They can succeed in changing the behavior that sent them to prison and become permanent non offenders.
Goodwill is anticipating serving 35 women in the SCH program. The 35 will be unduplicated as their program includes job readiness, job placement and group support. They may take advantage of other services offered by Goodwill as they progress through the program, such as individual therapeutic counseling, GED preparation or help in applying for Food Stamps or other benefits.
The Second Chance for Her project benefits both the women returning to Smith County after being paroled from prison and their children. Women will learn the skills and about the support needed to have a second chance at a fulfilled life. Children of incarcerated parents are five times more likely to be incarcerated. SCH and our support services can break that cycle, teaching women how to better communicate and how to access resources for their children that may have developed emotional issues during their parents’ incarceration.
If you need further information about The Second Chance for Her Project, call: 903-581-5422
(L to R) Kim Lewis, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of East Texas,
Andrew Adams, President, Board of Directors
Chevella Layne, Director, Mission Services