Incarceration to Community: Navigating the Journey with Justice-Involved Women


CEPP was part of the 2022 cohort of Qualcomm’s Racial Justice Giving Initiative to address the needs of BIPOC justice-involved women. In partnership with the Center for Justice at Columbia University, CEPP will develop a resource for incarcerated women and staff working in facilities to improve their reintegration process.

Our Approach

CEPP, through its National Resource Center on Justice-Involved Women, is working in collaboration with justice-impacted BIPOC women through the Center for Justice to develop a culturally competent resource guide to help women navigate the complex journey from incarceration to the community.

The guide will address the significant barriers and challenges to successful reintegration and offer step-by-step guidance for key reentry areas (e.g., housing security, childcare, and employment). It will be developed with the needs of BIPOC women—those most at risk for incarceration and reincarceration—at the forefront. In partnership with formerly incarcerated women and to inform the development of this resource, CEPP and the Center for Justice are facilitating focus groups and conducting surveys with justice-involved women.

The Impact

While incarcerated, justice-impacted women have limited opportunities to learn about post-release requirements and available services and supports. Moving successfully from jail or prison back to the community depends on a range of factors. Women must be connected to critical services to obtain stability across several areas, including housing, employment, mental health, substance use, and healthcare. Without this key information and assistance, women, particularly BIPOC women, are more likely to face obstacles and be returned to custody. CEPP aims to reduce these obstacles and enhance the likelihood of success for incarcerated BIPOC women transitioning to the community.