On July 1, 2015 THE PROGRAM for Women and Families officially merged with Pinebrook Family Answers to become the agency’s Forensic Services Department. THE PROGRAM for Women and Families was originally founded as a branch office of THE PROGRAM for Female Offenders in 1980. In the 1990’s, the agency expanded the scope of its community-based services to include programs for youth at risk of delinquency. In 2011, their mission was revised to include services for all adult offenders – including men. Today the work of THE PROGRAM remains on the cutting edge of the field of reentry and the movement to “get smart on crime” by implementing evidence-based programming that has been proven to reduce recidivism among the justice-involved populations served.
Annually over 1,000 justice-involved individuals are served, but this work impacts countless others. By educating and supporting underserved populations of adult offenders and disengaged youth to make positive changes in their lives it effectively reduces rates of crime and delinquency. By reducing recidivism rates, the impact that the incarceration of parents has on the children of offenders is dramatically reduced. As unemployment rates among the under-skilled and under-educated is reduced and as the value of economic self-sufficiency is realized, some of our community’s most vulnerable families are strengthened, and urban neighborhoods in Allentown and beyond are revitalized.
Pinebrook Family Answers is pleased to expand its reach within this crucial area and have the opportunity to continue to offer the services of THE PROGRAM that are listed below:
- Family Services. Using evidence-based programs that target specific needs, we help incarcerated parents and pregnant and parenting teens understand how to be responsible parents. We also offer support groups, in-home visitation services as well as supervised contact visits between incarcerated parents and their children to maintain important family bonds.
- Adult and Residential Services. Our adult services focus on reducing recidivism rates, a key to ensuring the safety of our community while assisting criminal offenders. We also offer an evidence-based, retail theft remediation class that District Judges can use as an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) option for individuals charged with shoplifting. In addition, Pinebrook Family Answers operates one of the only Transitional Residences in the Lehigh Valley for homeless women who have been in the criminal justice system or who are at risk of such involvement and their children.
- Youth Services. Our youth services address the needs of young people who have dropped out of school, some of whom are involved in the juvenile justice system, and many of whom are pregnant or parenting. Program participants learn skills that help them lead productive lives, instilling in them the confidence they need to succeed. We also offer an evidence-based, retail-theft remediation class that District Judges can use as an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) option for young people charged with shoplifting.
- Model Reentry Programs for Women. Having provided services for women offenders for more than 30 years, we have developed a number of highly effective, comprehensive, gender responsive programs. Pinebrook Family Answers’ Forensic Services department is available to consult with organizations interested in replicating any of these model programs.