Justice-involved females, like males, face a host of challenges when they leave jail or prison and return to their communities. However, the current systems do not always address the specific challenges faced by women. For example, while many justice-involved females struggle with both substance abuse and mental health problems – often linked to their history of physical or sexual abuse beginning in childhood and extending into adulthood – most state and local reentry programs lack a significant trauma-informed behavioral health component. And while a primary consideration for many justice-involved women who are mothers is to determine why and how to successfully reestablish a relationship with their children when they leave prison, most state and local systems are not focused on supporting this important aspect of reentry. These and many other factors point to the need to better identify effective strategies to help women overcome these challenges as they transition to their communities.
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