This is the fourth in a series of bimonthly newsletters from the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW).
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National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women

Resources Available on the NRCJIW Web Site

The NRCJIW web site ( maintains an extensive catalog of articles and other documents on a variety of topics related to women involved in the criminal justice system.  The topics include:

  • General Resources
  • Correctional Environments
  • Offender Management and Supervision
  • Classification, Assessment, and Case Management
  • Treatment, Interventions, and Services
  • Community Reentry
  • Quality Assurance and Evaluation
  • Critical Issues

To access resources in these areas, or to be connected to products produced by the NRCJIW or linked to its partners, visit

Have a Question About Women Involved in the Justice System?

NRCJIW has staff available to answer your questions about working with justice involved women.  A sample of previously asked questions can be found at  If you have a question you would like us to research and answer, visit

Current Opportunities For Technical Assistance:

NIC and NRCJIW Offer Assistance on Developing Gender-Responsive Policies and Practices in Women's Facilities

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the National Resource Center on Justice-Involved Women (NRCJIW) jointly announce the availability of technical assistance to assist state departments of corrections to develop sound gender-responsive policies and practices in their women's facilities. While assistance will be tailored to the needs of the requesting agency, it will generally follow the Gender-Informed Practice Assessment (GIPA) process, developed under a previous cooperative agreement from NIC. The GIPA is a multi-day process that involves: a) review of agency/facility reports, polices and related materials; b) interviews and focus groups with stakeholders, including administrators, supervisors, custody and non-custody staff, contractors, volunteers, and women offenders; c) observations of programs, services, and facility operations, and d) review of offender files. For more information, click here.

Technical Assistance from NRCJIW

The NRCJIW also offers training and technical assistance to government agencies and community and faith-based organizations to support their work with justice-involved women. The NRCJIW provides assistance and information to practitioners through a variety of means, including:

  • Making presentations at national and state criminal justice professional associations
  • Providing speakers for state and local conferences and training events
  • Conducting webinars on key topics
  • Facilitating strategic planning, leadership, policy development and other meetings
  • Producing and disseminating documents such as topical briefs, coaching packets, and "how-to's"
  • Maintaining a website (calendar of events, highlights of successful programs, profiles of leaders, emerging research, links and resources)
  • Responding to requests for information from the field.

For frequently asked questions about the assistance we offer, visit or Click here to download a TTA Request Form.

Quick Statistics on Justice Involved Women

This material was adapted from  and is based on data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (see; Prisoners in 2010, Published in December, 2011, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice).

State and Federal Prisoners

  • There were 113,000 women offenders incarcerated in state and federal facilities in 2010 compared to 1,500,000 male inmates.
  • The growth in the female incarcerated population was 2.2 percent since 2,000. The growth in the male incarcerated population was 1.6 percent since 2,000.
  • Male inmates had an incarceration rate 14 times higher than females.
  • African-American males had an imprisonment rate nearly three times that of white females.

Thirty-six percent of females were incarcerated for violent crimes. Property offenses (30 percent) and drug offenses (26 percent) were the next most prevalent offenses.

Prison, Jail and Community Supervision

  • In 2009, the majority of the total correctional population (prison, jails, community supervision) was male (82 percent) and 18 percent was female.
  • Men comprised a smaller portion of the total population in 2009 than in 1990 while the percentage of women increased slightly within the total correctional population.
  • Women under correctional supervision in 2009 (85 percent) were more likely than men (66 percent) to be supervised in the community on probation or parole. 
  • The number of female prisoners rose at a faster rate (4.8 percent) then the number of male prisoners (2.7 percent). The percent increase in female prisoners was almost twice that of male prisoners.
  • In all jurisdictions, sixty-one percent of men were working after prison compared to 37 percent of women.

National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women Newsletter

October 2012

This is the fourth in a series of bimonthly newsletters from the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW). The NRCJIW provides guidance and support to justice professionals – and promotes evidence-based, gender-responsive policies and practices – to reduce the number and improve the outcomes of women involved in the criminal justice system.

The NRCJIW Receives Supplemental Funding

The National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW) is pleased to announce that it has received supplemental funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). These funds will allow the Center to continue our partnership with BJA and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) to provide a full array of training and technical assistance services to criminal justice professionals on issues related to justice-involved women through March, 2015. The NRCJIW will continue its activities in several key areas, including website maintenance and enhancement; responding to requests for information, training, technical assistance and outreach; and production of written resources on key topics, including bi-monthly e-newsletters and ongoing innovator profiles. The Resource Center will also undertake three new activities: provision of assistance for up to three pilot sites to develop gender responsive pretrial assessment tool(s) and a pretrial toolkit for broad dissemination; conduct of a national leadership symposium; and conduct of four Gender-Informed Practice Assessments (GIPAs). To get updates about the work of the NRCJIW, visit our website at or join our mailing list by visiting

New NRCJIW Innovator:  Drew House

Drew House represents a unique partnership between the Kings County (Brooklyn, New York) District Attorney's Office and Housing + Solutions, a non-profit supportive housing provider.  This innovative program allows select women charged with felony offenses to fulfill the Court's mandates while living with their children in a supportive housing apartment.  Felony charges are dismissed after completion to prevent future disenfranchisement.  Drew House was originally conceptualized in 2000 by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and Assistant District Attorneys Mary Hughes and Teresa Fabi.  After years of setbacks in implementing their vision of a mother-child alternative to incarceration program, the house opened in 2008 after they joined forces with Rita Zimmer and Housing + Solutions, a non-profit supportive housing provider.

Program Overview

The Drew House Model provides supportive housing in a non-secure setting as an alternative to incarceration (ATI) for women with minor children.  All mothers with felony charges are eligible for consideration on a case by case basis (those charged with violent felony offenses are eligible for consideration if the crime did not result in serious injury and the victim approves.) The program also allows for:
Acceptance of minor children (the number of children is not limited).

  • Case management and brief counseling (provided on-site).
  • Referrals for community health and supportive services.
  • Prerequisite of homelessness at plea and disability (mandated by current funding source), most commonly substance abuse use or mental illness.
  • Court monitoring by third party (women are not monitored by the court after completion of their mandate). 

Columbia University researchers were engaged to review and assess Drew House (see  Their findings are summarized below.
Participants are ordered to reside in Drew House until the court determines the terms of their mandate are completed (generally between 12 and 24 months). Residence in the program requires adhering to program rules, such as curfew, visitation, and comportment within the house.  Mandates also typically include mandatory drug testing and weekly monitoring by Brooklyn TASC or Brooklyn Treatment Court, substance abuse treatment, parenting classes, education or vocational training, and pursuit of employment.  One of the most unique aspects of Drew House is that women with violent charges are not automatically excluded from the program, which is the norm in community corrections (in screening their cases, the District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys began noticing that many of their violent cases with female defendants had not resulted in a serious injury and that circumstances of the cases suggested the woman were unlikely to pose a future threat to public safety.)  As they identified eligible women, they also found that the victims readily agreed with the alternative placement.  The case and housing managers use a strengths-based, relational approach in partnering with women individually and as a group to decrease risks associated with future criminal justice contact and promote independence.  Staff also model prosocial behavior, assist women in attaining and maintaining self-sufficiency through employment and public assistance, support positive relationships with family and partners, and connect participants with education and vocational training.  Support in seeking post-mandate independent housing is also provided.  The case manager works to connect families to needed primary and specialty health care and developmental support services, such as Early Intervention.

Program Evaluation

The primary aim of the research conducted by Columbia University was to evaluate implementation of the program and determine interim outcomes for participating families.  Their findings supported Drew House as a model program:  "Allowing select women charged with felonies and their children to reside in Drew House strengthened these families without compromising public safety."
Key evaluation findings included:

  • Six of the nine program participants have successfully completed their court mandate. Two additional women were progressing without incident toward completion at the end of data collection. Drew House is cost-effective. It costs $34,000 a year to house a mother and two children, as opposed to $129,000 a year for incarceration and foster care.
  • Women were 29 years (range 20 - 40 years) of age on entry.
  • The average length of stay from entry to completion was 15 months (range 7 - 21 months).
  • Participating women reported an average of 2.3 children (range 1 - 4), but approximately one fewer child per family lived in the program (range 1 - 3). The average age of resident children on entry was 5 years (range 6 months – 13 years).
  • The charge leading to Drew House placement was the first felony for all but one woman.
  • No participants were charged with an additional crime while living in the house. The three women who have moved out have not received any additional charges.
  • The Drew House program supported family preservation, especially with younger children.
  • Women uniformly described staying in the community with their children as an "opportunity" and a "blessing."

To learn more about Drew House and to read an interview with the creator of the program, Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes, visit

New Resource:  Health, Justice, Women: Transforming Systems, Changing Lives

The National Institute of Corrections' August satellite and internet broadcast Health, Justice, Women: Transforming Systems, Changing Lives is now available for viewing at

In this broadcast experts explored research, strategies, and resources designed to effect health care practices used with justice-involved women.

  • In Segment 1, experts provide an overview of justice-involved women, gender-responsive research theories, the differences between women and men in the justice system, and the importance of women's strengths in mitigating risk of continued criminal involvement.
  • Segment 2 discusses the applicability of the public health model to criminal justice settings, describes the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and its implications for women involved in the justice system.  This segment also describes how multi-disciplinary, culturally competent, and trauma-informed approaches are necessary for providing health care to justice-involved women.
  • In Segment 3, the critical role of leaders in advancing gender-responsive and trauma informed strategies for women offenders is discussed.  Wardens Kevin Gause (CT) and Dona Zavislan (CO) describe the barriers and successful strategies to implementing gender-responsive trauma-informed approaches in their facilities.  Warden Mark Patterson (HI) also provides an overview of how the HI Department of Public Safety has created a more gender-responsive, trauma-informed environment through a focus on staff, programming, administration, community and environment (SPACE). 
  • Segment 4 focuses on the transition of justice-involved women to the community.  Barriers to reentry, promising practices, and examples of effective partnerships between corrections and health care providers are also provided.

A participant guide is available online and can be downloaded here:


Copyright © 2012 National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women , All rights reserved.
National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women is funded in whole or in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this newsletter (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
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