Navigating the Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is like a maze, with many ways to enter but few ways to exit.  The Benedict Center helps women navigate this difficult maze. We also work with system partners and the community to remove barriers in the maze so women can be more successful in their journey toward a safer, healthier life. 

Women bravely do this work in the face of great systemic barriers including poverty, unstable housing, little education, racial discrimination, violence against women, and the stigma of a criminal record.  The Benedict Center advocates for systems changes to reduce those barriers.

Below is a video describing the barriers women face. 


Video from National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women


The Benedict Center provides community based programming as an alternative to incarceration and supports women coming out of jail and prison.

Here are the different points in the criminal justice system where we help women meet legal obligations and exit the maze of the criminal justice system:

Pre-trial Services and Early Intervention

The Milwaukee County Court System has embraced the practice of pre-trial interventions for individuals who are considered low-risk and are better served in community based programs like the Benedict Center's Women's Harm Reduction Program.

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Milwaukee County Day Reporting Center

Program participation is designed to divert women from jail into a community alternative while maintaining public safety and reducing detention costs.

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Women’s Reentry Program

The Women’s Reentry Program is a voluntary program designed to support women while incarcerated at the Milwaukee County House of Correction and their transition back into the community.

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DOC Community Corrections

Each referred woman is involved in structured programming. 

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Community-Based Services

Women voluntarily connect with treatment and support services without entanglement in the criminal justice system.

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