|Transitional housing facility to open in RC|
|Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:04|
A privately-funded, faith-based transitional living house for women is planning to open in Rapid City in February. The goal of Passages Women's Transitional Living is to help former inmates put the pieces of her life back together and instill purpose, hope, and vision to each woman. Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom says, "There is a gap in service when it comes to transitional programs for women coming out of prison, and this will help fill one of those gaps that currently exist in the community."
Passages is modeled after Chrysalis Women's Transitional Living in Boise, Idaho, which opened in 2001 and has grown to five homes and forty-four beds. Passages Executive Director Carol Kelley says, "Recidivism generally across the board is around 50% within three years. Recidivism for the programs in Boise is anywhere from 5-10%, so it's quite low and very successful."
More than 100 women are released from prison to Rapid City each year. Since 1980, there has been a 1,600% increase in women being incarcerated. Kelley says, "Most of them are drugs and alcohol or nonviolent crimes. So that means that every decade there has been a 100 percent increase in women in South Dakota being incarcerated for non-violent crimes."
While 72% of women in prison have minor children, Passages will not be a home for children of inmates. A woman's 18 months at Passages will be dedicated to focusing on herself, becoming gainfully employed and establishing healthy relationships.
Sheriff Thom says, "It's not a government-run program; it's privately funded through donations and so they can structure it the way they want...and I think just providing that stable work environment, they'll have mentors working with them, they'll teach them life skills, all those things that are critical to them being successful beyond prison."
Passages will hold its first-ever fundraiser at the Dahl Arts Center next month, with musical performances and an auction. For more information visit www dot PassagesLiving.com.