Funding could save a program helping women transition to post-prison life

Funding could save a program helping women transition to post-prison life
YWCA Fernhurst program helps women transition to getting jobs and maintaining success after prison. (Source: YWCA)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A successful program that helps women transition to life after prison may not be on the chopping block after all.

The House Finance Committee announced Monday it will restore funding to the Oahu YWCA’s Fernhurst program.

It was on the verge of shutting down because of the pandemic’s impact to funding.

[Read more: Proven program for women inmates is casualty of pandemic’s impact on state coffers]

About 200 women have graduated from the program which helps rehabilitate them into the community. They learn valuable work skills, basics on how to land a job, and how to continue on a successful path.

Some 84 percent of the women who went through the program haven’t gone back to prison.

House Speaker Scott Saiki says funding the program is a no-brainer.

“We know that this is an important program. And it is something that has been successful. And that needs to be saved. $450,000 in the scheme of things is not a lot of money,” Saiki said.

The House Finance Committee will be holding a hearing on the issue on Tuesday.

If approved by the House, the bill advances to the Senate. But, there is no guarantee the Public Safety Department will use that money toward the Fernhurst program to keep it going.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.