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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Healing The Relationship Between Federally Sentenced Women And Communities

Section A - Healing Between FSW And Communities

• The theoretical framework for this type of program comes from several sources: Creating Choices’ research suggested shifting the focus from the woman’s breach of the law to the effects upon the victims/community. Redress of damages needs to be emphasized, while the use of punitive measures needs to be minimized.

• Reasons for offending need to be addressed. FSW’s personal needs, e.g., poverty, must be addressed in conjunction with healing restorative measures with the community.

• Recognizing FSW’s concerns that envelop issues such as: ethnic minorities, family support, lack of discharge planning, loneliness, the role of correctional personnel, need for autonomy and self-determination are central to developing a holistic approach to providing services for FSW in the community.

• Continuity of care for FSW from pre-sentence, through incarceration to release is essential.

• The community must be in a condition of ongoing conflict resolution and social healing.

• The concepts of "restorative and transformative justice" (Appendix 2) pertinent to both "victim" and "community" must be considered. A selection of programs that attempt to incorporate some of these principles was reviewed (Appendix 3).