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women, incarcerated, correctional association, New York, Empowerment evaluation, Formerly incarcerate women, Leadership, Reentry


There is limited knowledge on re-entry initiatives for formerly incarcerated women specifically focusing on building women’s advocacy and leadership skills. Our research highlights ReConnect, a 12-session, innovative advocacy and leadership development program rooted in an integrated framework of empowerment, and transformational leadership theories. Based on CBPR principles, we conducted an empowerment evaluation where ReConnect graduates, staff members, and evaluators in an egalitarian process designed, collected, and analyzed data on how ReConnect assists formerly incarcerated women in the reentry process. The evaluation’s purpose is to offer practitioners and researchers an explanatory model on how to help formerly incarcerate women access supportive services and highlight a training program that helps women engage in collective social change efforts in their community.


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