The Impact of a Second Chance: An Innovative Women’s Prison Diversion Program

submission by Prototypes
The Impact of a Second Chance: An Innovative Women’s Prison Diversion Program

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):


Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

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Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Prototypes helps women overcome the disease of addiction while also addressing co-occurring mental illness and trauma with comprehensive approaches that involve the entire family to end the intergenerational cycle of addiction, abuse and poverty.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


To address the skyrocketing rates of incarceration for women who suffer from substance use disorders, LA County developed the Second Chance Women’s Re-entry Court (WRC) program as an alternative. WRC provides behavioral health treatment, helps women unite with their children and provides practical solutions like job training, parenting and life skills to help women become self-sufficient. Prototypes proposes to expand services to include additional mental health and psychiatry services.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


The Second Chance Women’s Reentry Program (WRC) helps women charged with a felony who also have a history of substance use disorders get the treatment that they need instead of continuing to cycle in and out of jail. The women that Prototypes and WRC seek to help have higher rates of past trauma, relapse, mental health disorders, homelessness, family instability and unemployment. And, often, they are the sole caregivers for their young children. By providing a continuum of care, including residential substance abuse treatment and outpatient services to this target population, the program transforms not only the lives of women but the health and wellness of their children as well.

As Los Angeles County struggles with overcrowding prisons with subpar services for those with mental illness and substance abuse, the Second Chance Women’s Reentry Program is an already implemented and proven program for successfully helping families. Women with histories of substance abuse are more likely to cycle in and out of jail. Their children are more then likely to end up unstable living situations or foster care. By diverting women to this program, Prototypes reunites women and their children so they can both receive integrated care, including primary and mental health care. Children also get to rebuild the bond with their mothers in a safe and structured environment so they can grow and thrive.

In addition to comprehensive care for addiction, mental illness and any other medical concerns, the program provides wraparound services to help women gain vital vocational skills, complete their GED, and find employment. Case managers also help women with basic life skills to create a safe and healthy household for their families and help women find permanent housing. Employment and housing are critical components in helping women remain successful in their recovery. These comprehensive services also support a mother’s ability to create a safe, stable and healthy household for her children.

By addressing the underlying issues that led women to the criminal justice system in the first place, WRC empowers women to become independent and healthy members of the Los Angeles community. WRC also includes entire families and connects them with extensive services designed to increase a family’s self-sufficiency.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Prototypes and its partners track outcomes including improved mental health, reduced drug use, increased employment and housing, and reduced recidivism. Recently, the LA County Department of Public Health conducted a Health Impact Study that found multiple health and public safety benefits. Some of the major findings from the report include: graduates from WRC have a lower chance of rearrests, re-convictions and returns to custody compared to the California state prison population; and, compared to their employment status before entering the WRC, graduates experienced more than a 10-fold increase in employment after completing the WRC program and WRC graduates experienced a 54% decrease in homelessness after program completion. Prototypes is currently implementing an Electronic Health Record System that will better data collection. With enhanced services under this new project, Prototypes will monitor client access and outcomes with additional mental health services.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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Thank you, Prototypes, for all the awesome work you do to help our community!

by DanielN
6 months ago

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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015