Hynes announces alternative-to-incarceration program for women

May 8, 2013 Kings County District Attorney's Office

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and the Women’s Prison Association, with the support of multiple women’s advocacy and legal groups announce JusticeHome, a home-based alternative to incarceration, for women, particularly those with children.

The program has funding for 45 participants.  Eligible participants must be facing a minimum of six months in prison as a result of felony charges.  They will be able to serve their sentences in their home, retain custody and care of their children, and receive intensive treatment and supervision.

Hynes will train his staff to assess and meet the specific needs of women offenders who would benefit from ATI programs like JusticeHome and Drew House, a program spearheaded by D.A. Hynes that opened its doors in 2008, to keep families intact, avoid “warehousing” women in prison and reduce recidivism among women.

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 “Today’s announcement of our Justice Home Program is very exciting because 45 mothers will be spared jail and their children will avoid the trauma associated with watching helplessly as their mothers are carted off to jail,” said D.A. Hynes.

 The participants will be screened for suitability.  The JusticeHome staff will work with the D.A.’s staff to assess each woman on a case-by-case basis.    The D.A.’s office will provide Continuing Legal Education programs for Assistant District Attorneys, who will be trained to make the initial selection and referral to the screeners.  The screening techniques will also be added to the permanent training curriculum for new incoming assistant district attorneys.

Georgia Lerner, the director of the Women’s Prison Association, said, “Our experience demonstrates that women and families can make great positive change when they are supported in their own homes and communities.  WPA is thrilled that our JusticeHome program will be working with women to identify and address their criminal risks without the disruption that everyone in their lives experiences when they are sent to prison.”

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