HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Today Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances announced a brand new program aimed a giving women the best possible opportunity to successfully transition back into their community following incarceration.

The $2 million Women’s Reentry Services Initiative Program is aimed at giving women the best opportunities when it comes to transitioning back into the community after they return following incarceration.

“More than 70% of women incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prisons are mothers. And when they reenter society, they face the everyday struggles of every mother—to balance work, family, and life—combined with the reality of integrating themselves into a society that will immediately slap a label on them for their prior mistakes,” said Gov. Wolf. “We see these women, we see their struggle as they stretch themselves thin to make ends meet, let alone thrive.

“I’m grateful to Frances for her dedication to advocating for this funding to come to fruition. Thank you, Frances, for shining a light on this need and bringing this program to life for Pennsylvania’s women.”

First Lady Wolf secured this $2 million for the program in Governor Wolf’s final budget. It will be administered through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

Funding will be available to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations that support women and help them succeed after incarceration.

“In my past, I served on the board of a women’s halfway house in York County, where we advocated for the residents as they reclaimed their lives in reentry. It was there that I was introduced to the challenges women reentrants face and the importance of the community organizations that wrap around them,” said First Lady Wolf. “I am proud to announce the launch of the Women’s Reentry Services Initiative, a grant program designed to support the non-profits on the front lines of this work. It’s bigger than helping women find homes, employment, or childcare; it’s about restoring dignity.”

Reduced recidivism helps to support stabilized lives for returning women and their families, reduced costs associated with repeated contact with the criminal justice system, at the local level, and safer communities.

Grants of up to $100,000 are available for organizations that will provide holistic reentry support services to women across Pennsylvania. Projects such are providing supportive housing, workforce development services and employment assistance, job readiness support services, access to childcare, transportation assistance, healthcare, mental healthcare, peer support and mentoring, and access to family reunification services are eligible.

The deadline to apply is October 25, 2022.