Angela House provides rehabilitative service, programming, and personal counseling, in a homelike, secure atmosphere structured with sensitivity for the unique needs of formerly incarcerated women as they attempt to re-enter society. Our program includes support services, referrals, job readiness training and twelve step recovery groups. Residents receive emotional and spiritual support as well as professional counseling, as they are encouraged to set realistic and attainable goals for their future.
We feel that our willingness to adjust to the needs of the women on a case-by-case basis adds to the uniqueness of our program and enhances the services we provide. All services are designed to provide the supports necessary to keep the women from re-offending and returning to prison. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2005), Texas has a recidivism rate of 45.7%. To date, 76% of women served through Angela House have not returned to incarceration. At 24%, our recidivism rate is considerably lower than both the national and state averages for women.
When women arrive at Angela House they are provided an avenue to recover from mistakes of the past, to overcome the systems which tend to keep them locked in poverty and enable them to discover and develop their own gifts and skills for a more humane and productive life. Our model focuses on individualized programming with an emphasis on interventions that create healthy and healing connections that lead to healthy, drug-free relationships. This collaborative approach to service impacts an under-served community while addressing the causes of poverty, racism and oppression that permeate the criminal justice system.
By enhancing and improving self-esteem, building self-determination and developing personal growth initiatives, the women are empowered to act on their own behalf and lead lives of dignity in their communities and families. As a result, residents of Angela House begin the process of turning their lives around. This transition is gradual, however, and tailored to the needs of each resident; therefore, our project is ongoing. There is a strong correlation between length of stay and a healthy transition back into society. Residents make a four-month commitment with the understanding that they can extend their time in order to accomplish their goals and successfully reintegrate into society. While specific goals vary per resident, the following provides a timetable women follow during Angela House programming:
During their first sixty days residents:
- Develop personal goals
- Access services to best help them accomplish those goals
- Commence their immersion in the twelve step traditions as a support to sobriety
By the third month in residence, women are:
- Actively working the twelve step recovery program, with a sponsor
- Developing employment or educational skills
- Engaging in job search or attending skills classes
By the sixth month in residence, women are:
- Continuing to work the twelve step recovery program
- Continuing to work on GED or course work to enhance employment skills and opportunities
- Employed and contributing 75% of their salary to the Trust Account
- Developing a plan for independent living
After twelve months in residence:
- 100% of the women are maintaining sobriety (residency is predicated on sobriety)
- 65% are completing GED or course work leading to employment
- 50% are employed and contributing to the Trust Account
- 65% are moving toward independent living
During their first 60 days, as well as working on themselves through therapy and other Angela House programming, residents are busy obtaining their Birth Certificate, ID cards, Social Security cards, and attending medical, dental and legal appointments. These appointments are scheduled around the core programs offered at Angela House. Parole or Probation appointments are supposed to be scheduled around these activities; however, exceptions apply.
When residents finish their 60-day orientation period, they are permitted to begin their job search and to visit family. Their schedules during this search period are made around core program activities, however when residents begin working or attending school, they are permitted to miss these groups. Residents are required to continue weekly appointments with our therapist, and they are required to continue attending 12-step meetings, though they can attend these meetings on their own. Residents are permitted to visit family or attend events with their sponsor; however, they are still required to participate in our weekend activities.
When women arrive, their initial goals are discussed and assessed. These may change over the course of her stay, and staff will continue to asses each woman’s needs as she progresses through the program. We believe our success is due, in part, to our commitment to individualized case management for each resident served at Angela House.
For more detailed information on the structure of our program, please contact the staff at Angela House.