Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)
The Ladies Empowerment and Action Program, Inc. (LEAP) will expand upon its current programs to implement The LEAP Women’s Reentry Program which addresses the unique challenges faced by the 125,000 women released from Florida prisons and jails each year. Since 2009 LEAP has provided gender responsive programming to women at the Florida state prison Homestead Correctional Institution. Since 2018, LEAP has also provided transitional housing and employed graduates at their social enterprise, the Dragonfly Thrift Boutique.
The Reentry Program will build upon that experience by providing in-prison programming to women in Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and offer post-release, wrap-around services and individualized case management, which will be delivered in-house and in partnership with other community service providers.
The Program will be provided in three phases: Phase I - In-Prison Assessment, Phase II - In-Prison Case Management and Education, and Phase III - Post-Release Services. Phases I and II will be delivered at both Turner and Homestead. Phase III will be available to LEAP’s in-prison program participants, as well as other women with histories of incarceration who reside in Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward counties.
The Dragonfly Thrift Boutique, will continue to provide up to eight of the program participants at a time with post-release paid retail experience. LEAP’s two transitional houses will provide safe and subsidized housing for up to 12 of the program participants at a time.
Throughout the 36 month grant period, the Reentry Program will service 450 women - 100 women annually from the two in-prison programs and 50 other women annually in need of reentry services.
The program impact will be measured by (1) participation rate - percentage of successful completions of targeted, personalized reentry plans, (2) recidivism rate - percentage that return to prison with a new conviction within 12 months of release, (3) housing rate - percentage that obtain housing, including those residing in the LEAP House, and (4) employment rate - percentage that secure employment, including at LEAP's Dragonfly Thrift Boutique, and/or that start their own business.
The direct beneficiaries of this program are the women served, while the greater south Florida community will reap the benefits of improved public safety and a reduced strain on social services. And while more difficult to measure, the children of the women served will benefit from a more stable home, reduced need for foster care or other social services, and a decrease in the generational cycle of incarceration.