Every woman leaving the Indiana Women’s Prison could share with you her hopes for her future life. She could also share her deepest fear that she might be starting that life alone, without the knowledge, friends and resources she will need.
We will walk hand in hand with her as she forges her own way home.
Preparing to Leave IWP: Fear can be replaced with knowledge. Working with her friends, a woman will learn about her own unique capacity, research community resources and make three plans for her future. Our 26 week reentry program, “Getting Ahead While Getting Out” has 23 enrolled with plans for expansion.
Upon Release: A trained mentor will be offered as a personal resource to help her face the obstacles inherent to reentry. Our mentoring team will include women who were formerly incarcerated.
Clothing and Supply Room: Supplemental clothing, personal care, bedding, and kitchen supplies will be available to her.
Transitional Housing: One Net is raising money and considering providing housing. One Net will welcome her to our house as soon as she is released. She will have time to become acclimated to her freedom, accumulate needed items, participate in services/training, find a job and establish a new home. Most importantly, she will be working on solutions among new friends. We may find the perfect house on a city bus line, but we love the idea of woods and sunlight, a big old farmhouse with outbuildings and animals, and fields where children could visit and play.
Provided Services: One Net and its community partners will help her gain strength and skills to move forward. Some options might be developing soft and hard job skills, computer use, addiction help, internet sales, parenting skills, financial literacy, the Women of Mercy outreach program, and just plain having fun.
The Women of Mercy may continue the work being done by the One Net One Life program of IWP, making mosquito bed nets that prevent the death of children from malaria. Or they may train a companion dog, make quilts for shelters or freedom bags. They may be engaged in other forms of giving that touch their hearts. Doing outreach allows a woman to express her beauty of spirit. There is so much need in the world, and she can change a moment or a lifetime for another.