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City uses grant money to extend services for female inmates

Health Care Foundation awards City $75,000

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Correctional Institution will now be better able to meet the special needs of the 1,300 women incarcerated there annually, thanks to a grant from the Health Care Foundation of Kansas City.

"The previous program funded by the Health Care Foundation enabled us to design a targeted service delivery system to reduce recidivism among the female inmates," said Nancy Leazer, superintendent of corrections. "With this new grant, the Women's Enrichment Program will be able to further these efforts with a specialized intake system and referral network."

Approximately 80 percent of the women inmates at the institution have children, and 95 percent of these women have been physically and/or sexually abused. These factors, along with prevalent drug and alcohol abuse and untreated mental health issues, make the needs of women complicated and diverse.

When women enter the Municipal Correctional Institution, a complete intake assessment now will be conducted within 24 hours. The women also will attend workshops and training that will specifically address trauma, self-esteem and "procovery," which is a preparation for alcohol and drug treatment. In addition, the Municipal Correctional Institution is partnering with Veronica's Voice, a local support organization for women who have been sexually exploited, because many of the women in the institution have been arrested on charges associated with prostitution. Veronica's Voice encourages, educates and empowers women to make lifestyle changes.

"The grant also helps to pay the salary of a social worker. This person will assess the individual needs of the women as they re-enter the community, by conducting a complete, individualized discharge program," Leazer said.

For more information about the Women's Enrichment Program, call Nancy Leazer, superintendent of corrections at the Neighborhood and Community Services Department's Municipal Correctional Institution, (816) 513-9630.

Media inquiries about this issue should be directed to Teresa L. Clark, public information officer for the Neighborhood and Community Services Department, (816) 513-3247.

City News Releases - 2007

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