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The Benedict Center's Sisters Project

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $100,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

The Benedict Center Sisters Project is an intervention program designed to reach women engaged in street prostitution and illegal drugs before they are arrested and enter into the criminal justice system. The Center targets women 17 years and older who are actively engaged in prostitution and drug use in high-risk areas of the City of Milwaukee. Their goal is to offer a second chance trauma-based prostitution recovery program for women, involve successful participants in peer support through mentoring, encourage women on the street to voluntarily participate in the services available, and engage the community in supporting and helping women who want to leave the life of drugs and prostitution by providing them community education opportunities and participation in restorative justice peacemaking circles. The program will be managed by a part-time therapist/counselor and part-time Trinity Fellow. The outreach workers will work together approaching women in high-risk areas identified by the police and the community prosecutor. They will offer the women hygiene products, referrals, and information on opportunities for a safe exit from the streets, and an invitation to the neighborhood Benedict Center drop-in sites. There will also be six Mentor Sisters who have been in conflict with law, excelled at the Benedict Center, stabilized their lives, and want to help other women succeed.


Date Created: September 21, 2009