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Charles Montaldo

Weekly Crime Poll: The Drew House

By October 8, 2012

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The Drew House is a program in New York City that allows female prisoners to serve their sentences while living with their children in their own apartments, away from the prison. Currently there are five women in the program and their offenses include drugs, weapon possession and violent crimes.

Candidates for the program must be homeless and charged with a felony offense. They also must have a disability of mental illness or substance abuse, be drug free, and have custody of their children.

The Drew House Environment

The families live in their own one or two bedroom apartment. There is a house manager on site and it is monitored by TASC (Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities).

The women receive a wide array of services including parenting classes, required sessions with a family therapist, employment services, access to community day care, health services and other vocational and educational programs to meet their individual needs.

The children attend school and receive tutoring, counseling and health care as needed in order to help reduce the possible trauma of being homeless or separated from their mothers.

Tough Consequences

If the participants break the law, fail to attend a required sessions, or do not properly follow the Drew House rules, they will be returned to prison and given the maximum sentence. However, if they successfully fulfill the court's mandates, which generally last 18 months, the felony charges will be dismissed.

The program is designed to help the women achieve stability, economic security and obtain permanent housing. To help avoid the possibility of the family becoming homeless again, the women and their children may keep their apartments as long as needed.

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Comments

October 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm
(1) lisa says:

The prison system as we know it is failing everyone, including those of us in regular society. Why not try an alternative? And those services make up a long list. From what I’ve read they sound impressive. Of course women charged with child abuse or child murder,etc, should not be on this list.

October 11, 2012 at 5:10 am
(2) Bob says:

How in the world can you serve your prison sentence outside prison? Where is justice here? Those criminals are enjoying more comfortable lives than law-abiding citizens. What kind of punishment is that?

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