Recent research shows an exponential growth in female incarceration with Texas leading as one of the top 10 highest female incarceration rates in the country. Female incarceration in Texas Department of Criminal Justice has increased 908% from 1980-2016 (Texas Criminal Justice Coalition).
Traditionally, the prison system was designed to serve a predominantly male population. The sentencing laws and operational policies are based on male characteristics and male crime. The system fails to consider the reality of women's lives, characteristics, responsibilities, especially their relationship with family, and their roles in offense patterns. For these reasons, the penal system proves inadequate in meeting their basic needs.
Most women in the criminal justice system have been convicted of a nonviolent crime. Compared to men, women have more severe histories of sexual/physical abuse, mental health and physical health problems, including trauma and victimization, substance abuse issues, poverty, low education levels, and homelessness. These same drivers to female incarceration are barriers or hurdles to their successful reentry into the community. For these reasons and more, a gender-responsive approach to service provisions are essential to a successful transition into the community.
WOHAD is a distinctive 18-month community-based program, focused on preparing justice-involved women age 19-45 to make a safe and successful transition into the community and live as law-abiding citizens. We provide holistic, culturally sensitive , evidence-based, gender-specific, and trauma intervention services that increase retention in the community and reduce risk of re-offending. Additionally, while in our value-rich home, women have access to spiritual support, educational/vocational programs, counseling, anger management coaching, health care, employment readiness training, parenting and life skills training.
WOHAD is founded on infallible biblical principles and we use them as a guide to help us relate to others:
Data collected by Texas Criminal Justice Coalition reveals:
These stats don't lie.
Women of Honor and Destiny, TLC, Inc. is a direct response of its founder, Janice Freel, calling on her life. While serving more than three decades of her life devoted to the nursing profession, she knew there was a greater call beyond her occupation in clinical nursing.
Janice's calling or purpose was confirmed when her daughter became a teenage mother. She witnessed the ill-treatment, insensitive and culturally-biased services rendered to teen mothers, and especially to those of color. At that moment, Janice was given a glimpse of the vision: to establish an organization that would restore dignity, add value, and instill hope to females who are stigmatized because of the mistakes they made.
Today, WOHAD is the vision realized. Janice, with the assistance of a dedicated Board of Directors are taking progressive actions toward designing a viable program that promotes the total well-being of women that are exiting the criminal justice system.
Isaiah 61:1 is Janice's confirmation scripture: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." KJV