To help women and girls break the cycle of entrapment in the criminal justice system and lead healthy, satisfying lives.
About the Organization:
A New Way of Life Reentry Project was founded in 1998 by Susan Burton, a formerly incarcerated woman who faced institutional barriers to employment opportunities, housing, student loans, public assistance, addiction treatment services, and other benefits and services that could help her rebuild her life and stay out of the criminal justice system. To help break the cycle of incarceration, homelessness, addiction, and despair, the organization provides shelter in safe, supportive, sober home environments to formerly incarcerated women; offers education, job training, and skills-building opportunities to help those women become self-sufficient; and works as a community advocate to change public attitudes and end discriminatory incarceration practices. Burton is a 2012 recipient of Encore.org's Purpose Prize.
As a community advocate, A New Way of Life provides housing and reentry support for women and children; advocates for the human and civil rights of current and former prisoners; and supports leadership development among formerly incarcerated women. The Healthy Return Home program helps formerly incarcerated women apply for public assistance, deal with debt, meet their parole and probation requirements, find addiction recovery programs, enroll in educational or job training programs and/or find employment, and gain independence by securing permanent housing and establishing a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Family Reunification program assists formerly incarcerated women in reuniting with their children and rebuilding healthy, long-lasting family bonds.
A New Way of Life's advocacy work is focused on Section 8 housing policies and practices and employment rights. In addition to providing training for job seekers with conviction histories, as well as connecting them with job developers and local employers, it offers, in partnership with the UCLA School of Law's Critical Race Studies Program, pro bono legal services through its Reentry Legal Clinic. The organization's leadership development efforts include Women Organizing for Justice, a four-month training institute in which participants learn about community organizing and social movements and develop their skills and confidence as public speakers and advocates; and the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Action, and Dialogue) Project, monthly workshops presented in partnership with Critical Resistance-Los Angeles that examine various aspects of the prison-industrial complex.
Visitors to the site can watch a short documentary and interviews with founder and executive director Susan Burton, who was named a 2010 CNN Top 10 Hero; make an online donation; and/or browse a list of needed items and services.
A New Way of Life Reentry Project is supported primarily by individuals, foundations, and government sub-contracts.