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PA First Lady Hosts Virtual Panel Highlighting Needs of Incarcerated Women Reentering Society

The Center Square | Natalie Kapustik: October 22, 2021

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania first lady Frances Wolf hosted the first in a series of virtual talks this week that focus on the challenges women face when leaving prison.

Women In Reentry: An Overview included a panel of formerly incarcerated women, corrections professionals, reentry experts and advocates who discussed how needs are being met and how the justice system can improve to better support reentry.

“For years we have been treating individuals returning home from prison the same,” said Marsha Curry-Nixon, Founder and Executive Director of Amiracle4Sure. “However, through experience and challenges, we realize that there is a need for gender specific services, particularly for women.”

The Department of Corrections (DOC) reported that of the approximately 2,000 women in Pennsylvania’s state correctional institutions, 67% are serving sentences of five years or less, and 90% will eventually be eligible for parole. More than half of women behind bars have a history of drug abuse, and 66% have a history of mental health issues.

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