Arizona Womens Education and Employment to use $1 million grant for re-entry program for women released from prison


Arizona Womens Education and Employment has received a $1 million federal grant to develop a program to help mentor high-risk women being released from Perrysville Prison.  

Arizona Womens Education and Employment (AWEE) said Monday it has received a $1 million federal grant to develop a program to help mentor high-risk women being released from Perryville Prison.

The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will be used help boost anti-recidivism efforts. The Women Living Free program wil select participants while they are still incarcerated and begin mentoring them every other week in group classes beginning 90 days before their release. Participants will then get help in developing plans for their life after being released and then select mentors. Once released, participants will have access to a number of support services to help them overcome trouble with housing, addiction, banking and other hurdles.

"Women Living Free is a comprehensive program to help create stability for moderate to high-risk women and their families through gender specific, wrap-around services with trained mentors at the core," AWEE President and CEO Marie Sullivan said. "Our intent is to help these women overcome barriers and transition successfully back into the community by filling gaps for successful re-entry with mentoring, family reunification, civil legal assistance, employment and pro-social activities."

To get the program fully up and running, AWEE is looking to train peer mentors, faith-based mentors and business or professional mentors.

The mentoring program is expected to start this month.

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