Women's Reentry Program

Supporting Women During Their Incarceration and Return to the Community

The Women’s Reentry Program is a voluntary program designed to support women while incarcerated at the Milwaukee County House of Correction and their transition back into the community. Women begin their healing journey with specially designed curricula to address trauma, substance use, and interpersonal violence. They increase their skills and self-efficacy through groups, individual sessions, and strength-based case management.

The program:

  • Assesses women’s strengths, risks, and needs, and addresses central barriers facing justice-involved women and assists in linking, coordinating, and making referrals during incarceration and after release. Referrals could include physical and mental health issues, substance use treatment, employment, and basic needs like legal identification, clothing, insurance, food, safe housing.
  • Advocates within the community and criminal justice system to create safer and healthier lives for women and their children.

Update on Program Services During COVID:

Due to the pandemic, services needed to pivot to safely reach women after release from custody.

For more information about the program, contact Katie Lynch, Associate Director via email at Klynch@benedictcenter.org or by phone at 414-375-9316.

Community-Based Reentry Services

On-going orientation, evidence-based assessment of women’s strengths, risks, and needs to address central barriers. Telehealth, case management, and other supports provided to women on electronic monitoring or released during pretrial stage. Women will have case plans and goals to work on while they are in the community. Our community-based reentry services provide structure and support for women approximately 3-6 months once they return home to our community. Services include but are not limited to:

Strength-based case management, navigation, and advocacy assist women in connecting to mental health and substance use recovery supports, address physical and reproductive health issues, address benefit access issues (e.g., Social Security cards, government identification, birth certificates, etc.), and navigate homelessness / housing issues, employment needs, intimate partner violence (IPV) support, food, transportation, and clothing resources. 

Telehealth “Wellness Checks” provide strength-based, person-centered emotional and therapeutic support for women who are in the community by addressing current psychosocial stressors. Wellness checks also provide women with more formal structure for working one-on-one with Reentry staff on curricula to increase self-efficacy and safe coping skills to generate a foundation of safety and support.

Mobile Reentry services provide an opportunity to meet women where they are in the community, offering face-to-face engagement and providing them with resources, basic need supplies, resources, cellphones, curricula worksheets, and in-person “wellness checks,” as needed. 

Strength-based case management resources, navigation, and advocacy provided to women incarcerated, as well as the development of post-release reentry plans.  Clients who chose to participate in our community-based reentry service will have the opportunity to work with Reentry staff in the community immediately upon their release from custody to ensure a more successful transition to strength-based services and support. 


Women receive care packages while in custody during the COVID-19 pandemic so they can stay connected to outside supports and provide the much-needed relief a letter, hygiene products, and other items can provide during an already disruptive and isolating time.

Evidence-based curricula. Provision of 9 group interventions that are evidence-based, gender-responsive and trauma-informed, designed to reduce recidivism and increase reentry success to women incarcerated and in the community.

Topics include: 
•    Moving On (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
•    Seeking Safety (trauma coping)
•    Nurturing Parenting
•    Life Skills
•    Women’s Support (formerly Women’s Sexuality- for women in prostitution or sex trafficking).  
•    Makin’ It Work (Employment)
•    Beyond Violence (violence prevention)
•    Trauma-Informed Yoga
•    Mindfulness Practice
 

“With the Reentry Program working with female offenders within the HOC, we have recognized an invaluable resource. Having [the program] available has given the female offenders hope and something to strive for, to become stronger, and to use more tools to succeed.” -Jose Hernandez, Former Assistant Superintendent, Milwaukee County House of Correction

 

Women doing yoga in a group

Women reconnecting with themselves through yoga class.

Hand-made rainbow-striped poster reading, "You never regret being kind"

Women create motivational artwork to inspire others in their group room.