Life Under Constructions financial literacy courses for women is a comprehensive program designed to equip women who have recently reentered society after incarceration with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve financial stability and independence. Our program offers a series of trainings covering various topics, including personal finance, budgeting, credit management, and financial planning.
We have found that female inmates do not have fundamental knowledge, skills, or experience to face the complex financial realities of life. Upon reentry into society, too often they repeat poor financial decisions that helped put them on the path to incarceration.
Why our prisoner reentry program includes personal financial education
Personal financial education is essential in women reentry programs because it can significantly impact their financial stability, reduce recidivism, and improve their overall well-being. Statistics show that women who have been incarcerated face various challenges when reintegrating into society, including limited access to job opportunities and financial resources.
According to a report by The Sentencing Project, about 64% of women released from prison earn less than $12,000 annually, making it challenging to meet their basic needs, let alone invest in their future. Furthermore, a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research showed that women who have been incarcerated are more likely to experience poverty, homelessness, and have limited access to healthcare and childcare services.
At Life Under Construction we understand how personal financial education can help women reentering society develop practical skills and knowledge needed to manage their finances effectively. Studies have shown that providing financial education to individuals who have been incarcerated can improve their financial well-being and reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
A study by the Vera Institute of Justice found that providing financial education to incarcerated individuals significantly increased their credit scores and improved their overall financial management skills, thereby increasing their chances of financial stability post-release. Another study by the National Institute of Justice found that providing financial education to incarcerated individuals reduced the likelihood of recidivism by 13%.
We understand how imperative it is for personal financial education to be included in our reentry programs. These programs help women overcome financial challenges, reduce the risk of recidivism, and enhance their overall well-being.
Previous incarceration and personal finances
According to a 2020 report by the Prison Policy Initiative, women in the United States are incarcerated at a rate nearly 80% higher than that of women in other countries. Additionally, incarcerated women are disproportionately likely to come from low-income communities and to have experienced financial instability prior to their arrest.
The report also highlights that while in prison, women often face significant financial challenges, such as being unable to maintain employment or to pay off debts. Upon release, they may struggle to find employment due to their criminal record, which can further exacerbate financial insecurity.
Moreover, a study conducted by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy found that women who have been previously incarcerated have significantly lower levels of wealth compared to their counterparts who have never been incarcerated. This wealth gap is largely driven by differences in homeownership and retirement savings.
At Life Under Construction we recognize that previously incarcerated women are more likely to come from low-income communities, experience financial challenges while incarcerated, and face significant financial obstacles upon release, leading to long-term financial insecurity.
Our literacy courses for women is a comprehensive program designed to provide financial education and support to women who have recently been released from incarceration. This program offers a series of trainings that are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of women, with the aim of increasing financial literacy and independence.
The program consists of four main training courses, each of which focuses on a different aspect of personal finance:
- Personal Finance Management – This course provides women with a foundational understanding of personal finance, including budgeting, saving, and investing. Residents will learn how to create a budget, track expenses, and develop a plan for achieving their financial goals.
- Credit Management – This course is designed to help our residents build and manage their credit effectively. They will learn about credit scores, how to read credit reports, and strategies for improving their credit standing. They will also receive guidance on managing debt and avoiding predatory lending practices.
- Financial Planning – This course focuses on long-term financial planning and retirement planning. Residents will learn how to set financial goals, develop a savings plan, and invest for the future. They will also receive guidance on selecting retirement accounts and managing retirement income.
- Entrepreneurship and Business Development – This course provides them with the skills and knowledge needed to start and manage a small business. They will learn about business planning, market research, financial management, and marketing. They will also have the opportunity to develop a business plan and receive feedback from program instructors.
Each course is taught by experienced financial professionals who have a background in working with formerly incarcerated women. Residents will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities and receive one-on-one guidance and support from instructors.
Overall, Life Under Constructions financial literacy courses for women represent a valuable resource for women who are looking to rebuild their financial lives after incarceration. By providing comprehensive financial education and support, our program is helping to empower women to achieve financial stability and independence.