Supporting women in prison

If you’ve followed Hope 2 Hire for any stretch of time, you’ve likely seen photos and videos of our students completing their masonry, bricklaying or other technical courses. As you scanned our photo gallery, you may have wondered, “Does Hope 2 Hire support women in prison as well as men?” The answer is – yes! But our programming is slightly different. Here’s what we do and why we do it.

What work do you do at the women’s prison? 

Much of what we do through our women’s programming is similar to our men’s programming. Our women work with our partner, HopeWorks, to complete their GED or HISET programming. This equips them with the essential knowledge they need to pursue future technical training. They then go through the HopeWorks Personal and Career Development course. Through this programming, our students are equipped with the workforce tools they need to become outstanding employees post-release. 

Once they complete these two programs, they are eligible to enroll in Hope 2 Hire’s technical training. Through a partnership with Tennessee College of Applied Technology, our women can enroll in a logistics course. During their studies, they will uncover the technical knowledge and master the job skills they will need to secure a job in a logistics field after release. Once they complete the program, our students participate in a graduation ceremony and work with our partners at HopeWorks to prepare for release from prison. 

Why is your women’s programming different from the men’s programming? 

Within the Shelby County Division of Corrections penal farm where we hold our classes, there are thousands of incarcerated persons. Though the specific numbers fluctuate daily, approximately 200 of the 2,000 inmates are women. Regardless of exact figures, the population of women in prison is always significantly smaller.

For this reason, the facilities allotted for women are proportionally smaller. At this time, we can only offer logistics programming within the facility because of the digital nature of the coursework. But it is our hope to offer a full suite of course options – from masonry to culinary arts – in the near future.  

How can I get involved?

If you want to support Hope 2 Hire, there are several ways to get involved. One of the most critical things you can do is make a donation to Hope 2 Hire. With your financial support, we can work to expand our programming and offer life-building courses to more students within SCDC. 

There are also mentorship opportunities offered through HopeWorks. Our women and men are paired with faith encouragers that support and walk alongside our students throughout their journey. You can sign up to become a faith encourager by visiting HopeWorks’ website

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