About Crossroads

Claremont Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Organization of the Year

Since 1974, the mission of Crossroads is to provide housing, education, support, counseling, and employment training in a homelike environment for women who have been incarcerated. Our primary goal is to empower women with new skills to help them step out of the revolving door of prison and move towards economic self-sufficiency.

Formerly incarcerated women have multi-layered needs. It is not enough to provide food and shelter to break the cycle of addiction and prison. Through our six-month residential program, women learn skills to cope with everyday living through specific curricula, case management, and a supportive living environment. We serve 30-32 women per year. We expect that almost all of our residents will complete the program, become economically self-sufficient, and not return to prison.

59% of all women released from prison return to prison within three years. In contrast, 86% of Crossroads graduates are self-sustaining after six years!
 

We are:

  • A licensed residential drug and alcohol treatment facility
  • First home in California for women who have served life sentences
  • Two primary program homes in Claremont, one transitional home in Pomona

We Offer

Employment assistance and skill building

Turning Points Staffing Services (TPSS)  is a three-week life skills program, followed by assistance in the search for employment.

Essential emotional and social preparation to help re-enter the workforce and assistance in employment search. Financial management skills where 75% of resident income is saved.

Support

Assessment and Individualized Goal Setting to determine specific individual needs and develop goals.

Group sessions which include substance abuse, relapse prevention, anger-management, health, self-esteem, and relationships.

Development of social skills: group dinners, volunteer opportunities in the community.

Community

Food Justice Program: Collaboration between Crossroads and the Claremont Colleges includes a community gardening program and a social enterprise program known as the Rising Women program.

Alumnae House

After the initial six-month period, women may continue their transition to independence, paying rent and receiving support from Crossroads staff as needed.

Needs of Incarcerated Women

There are over 10,000 women in California’s prisons, more than half are serving sentences for property or drug related offenses. When a women paroles, she is released with $200 gate money and an order to report to her parole officer in the county of commitment within 24 hours. It is not unusual for a woman to self-parole, meaning she does not have a place to stay or a family to whom she can return. The characteristics common to female parolees – severed social relations, economic vulnerability, addiction and abuse – increase the likelihood that of becoming homeless and/or returning to prison. Experts say that “access to affordable housing and employment are the greatest challenges that women face when they are released from prison” ¹  At Crossroads we help to meet these needs.

1 Bloom B, Owen B, Covington S. Research, Practice, and Guiding Principles for Women Offenders. National Institute of Corrections. 2003.

Needs of Incarcerated Women

Crossroads, Inc. helps women who have experienced significant hardship. In 2003, 57% of all women in California’s prisons had been physically or sexually abused prior to incarceration. About 80% suffered from substance abuse problems while 27% received therapy or counseling for mental health issues. A total of 30% received welfare assistance and 64% lived with their children prior to incarceration…. Of those 64%, almost half lived in single households. Of all women entering prison in 2003, 87% were convicted of non-violent drug or property crimes.*Crossroads’ program helps its participants cope with issues faced upon release in an effective and successful manner. Counseling and education are provided in a group setting and include, but are not limited to, substance abuse issues, relapse prevention, anger management, relationships and family life, self-esteem, basic life skills, food preparation (including planning, shopping, and preparing healthy meals), and home management. Women are also taught money management skills: they are required to find employment, open a savings account, and save a minimum of 75% of their income. This program has proved to be extremely effective, as shown by the very high rate of success of our graduates. Crossroads women also participate in a variety of inventive activities such as art, creative writing, and gardening.

*Statistics taken from “Breaking the Barriers for Women on Parole,” A report by the State of California Little Hoover Commission