According to the Department of Justice, prisoners cannot be released without housing.  Unfortunately, nearly 70% will return to prison because the only housing they can find leads them back to the friends and lifestyles that helped lead them to prison in the first place.


These women leave prison with thousands of dollars in fines, strict parole requirements, marked employment records, bad credit, and other costs.  Landlords do not want to rent to them, and employers do not want to hire them.  The LANCASTER SUNDAY NEWS printed the following statistics on 9/18/05:

  • Lancaster Prison estimates 61% of its 141 female inmates will return to prison after their discharge.

  • In the summer of 2005, 32 women slept on cots in the prison gym because of overcrowding.

  • The Lancaster County Prison population doubled in the last 14 years.

  • It costs $14,100 per year to jail one inmate, excluding the costs for probation, courts, and foster care.


2003 statistics on women and the criminal justice system reported the following:

  • There are nearly two million people in jail (nearly one out of 143 citizens)

  • 55% of women in prison have a child under the age of 16.  Over one third have a child under five.

  • 70% of prisoners will return to prison after their release

  • The average age for women in prison is 31.5

  • Between 1992 and 2002 the average population of women in custody rose by 173%.