The Arouet Foundation in Phoenix, AZ works with women transitioning from incarceration, a group even more economically vulnerable than most FOC clients. Its program begins inside Perryville state prison for women about 20 miles west of Phoenix, and continues after participants’ release at Arouet’s FOC.

Seventy percent of women who take part in orientation while at Perryville continue to engage with coaching and other services at the FOC. And of this latter group, over three years, about seven percent recidivate—compared to 39 percent who end up back in custody statewide.

We sat down with Arouet Foundation Executive Director Alison Rapping to find out more.

Women coming out of prison confront especially steep financial hurdles. What are the biggest issues?

There are like 145,000 collateral consequences—additional civil state penalties mandated by statute that attach to conviction and can affect somebody coming out of incarceration. These range from not having access to any housing because landlords won't rent to felons to not being able to even make it through the first computer algorithm when applying for a job; once they say they've been convicted of a crime, they’re knocked out. These consequences affect professional licensures, voting rights, and even the ability to attend a child’s school event. Many people will come out owing a significant amount of money, too, whether in restitution, to get their [driver’s] license reinstated, or to pay fees to the court for parole.

It feels like death by a thousand pinpricks, and many of these are unnecessary.

Read the full article about health and wellness for formerly incarcerated women in Arizona at LISC.