Inspiring women with a history of incarceration or at risk of incarceration to design a thriving life journey using newly learned tools and strategies for success.
When women impacted by the justice system gain strategies and tools to lead productive lives, they can make better choices because they will have more choices. Every year, thousands of women return to incarceration because they don’t have a way to address the root causes that sent them there in the first place: trauma and low self-esteem that led to substance abuse or the lack of education that prevents them from earning a living wage. The reasons are complicated.
In 2018, WIND was created after the founders met men and women striving to make new lives for themselves following interaction with the criminal justice system. In 2019, we kicked off our curriculum at a recovery home in Chicago, and in January 2020, received our 501(C)3 nonprofit status.
WIND focuses on women because there are far fewer resources devoted to them, even as female incarceration has skyrocketed relative to that of men.
Women have a unique power to impact their children. When you invest in women’s health and empowerment, your investment has a ripple effect, helping families, communities, and even countries achieve long-lasting benefits.
“Almost 80% of the women jailed each year are mothers.* We’re inflicting profound damage not only on them, but their children as well.”
– Wendy Sawyer, Research Director, Prison Policy Initiative, * Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, 2016
Women are far more likely than men to have primary responsibility for their children. Once released, they need to create stability and find a place to live to regain custody. Yet reentry literature suggests a large gap between the services individuals need to facilitate a successful return into their community and the services they actually receive.
Since women lack the opportunities and programs generally available to men, they often end up back in prison for the same violation. They lack the basic skills needed to change the trajectory of their lives. This is especially true for drug offenders, who need substance abuse rehabilitation instead of warehousing in prison. Without new options for their release, they return to their old lives. WIND is here to help change that path.