First Lady Frances Wolf highlights struggles of women with criminal records

Staff report

Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf visited York County on Thursday to highlight the struggles of women with criminal records to reenter the workforce.

“Many reentrants struggle to find steady jobs that pay a living wage, and this is particularly crucial for women given that a majority of them are mothers,” she said, during a roundtable with the York County Economic Alliance. “We must work together to help these women reestablish this critical piece of their lives during reentry."

Wolf appeared there as the administration of her husband, Gov. Tom Wolf, negotiates the state's 2022 budget with legislative Republicans. The governor's proposal calls for $1 million investment for reentry services at the local level for women reentering the workforce after going through the criminal justice system.

First Lady Frances Wolf joined the York County Economic Alliance, its Bloom Empowerment Center, business and non-profit leaders, criminal justice advocates, and other partners at the Manufacturers’ Association for the York County Reentry Employer Roundtable. In the conversation, Mrs. Wolf highlighted the importance of second chance hiring practices and reiterated the Wolf Administration’s commitment to supporting returning citizens.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, there are approximately 2,000 women in Pennsylvania’s state correctional institutions (SCIs), with 67% of the women serving sentences of 5 years or less.

Likewise, 70% of those women are mothers, according to state data.

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“Offering resources such as a pipeline for skills training provides employers with a greater applicant pool and aids in lowering recidivism rates,” said Kevin Schreiber, a former state lawmaker and president of the York County Economic Alliance.

First Lady Frances Wolf joined the York County Economic Alliance, its Bloom Empowerment Center, business and non-profit leaders, criminal justice advocates, and other partners at the Manufacturers’ Association for the York County Reentry Employer Roundtable. In the conversation, Mrs. Wolf highlighted the importance of second chance hiring practices and reiterated the Wolf Administration’s commitment to supporting returning citizens.