live / 2015

The Impact of a Second Chance: An Innovative Women’s Prison Diversion Program

The Impact of a Second Chance: An Innovative Women’s Prison Diversion Program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Prototypes

To address the skyrocketing rates of incarceration for women who suffer from substance use disorders, LA County developed the Second Chance Women’s Re-entry Court (WRC) program as an alternative. WRC provides behavioral health treatment, helps women unite with their children and provides practical solutions like job training, parenting and life skills to help women become self-sufficient. Prototypes proposes to expand services to include additional mental health and psychiatry services.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics?

  • Healthcare access
  • Number of households below the self-sufficiency index
  • Rates of homelessness
  • Rates of mental illness
  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Prototypes and its partners track outcomes including improved mental health, reduced drug use, increased employment and housing, and reduced recidivism. Recently, the LA County Department of Public Health conducted a Health Impact Study that found multiple health and public safety benefits. Some of the major findings from the report include: graduates from WRC have a lower chance of rearrests, re-convictions and returns to custody compared to the California state prison population; and, compared to their employment status before entering the WRC, graduates experienced more than a 10-fold increase in employment after completing the WRC program and WRC graduates experienced a 54% decrease in homelessness after program completion. Prototypes is currently implementing an Electronic Health Record System that will better data collection. With enhanced services under this new project, Prototypes will monitor client access and outcomes with additional mental health services.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)