Housing, job, other aid offered at Folsom Women’s Facility resource fair

Women in blue surround an information table.
Folsom Women's Facility resource fair.

By Joe Orlando
Office of Public and Employee Communications

Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF) recently hosted a gender responsive resource fair for incarcerated women preparing for their return to the community.

CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), Northern Region Adult Program Unit, coordinated with the Division of Adult Institutions to put on the event.

“This resource fair is an example of DAPO collaborating with stakeholders to provide opportunities otherwise not available prior to release,” said Gabriella Aguilera, acting Associate Director of DAPO. “This fair allows the offender re-entering the community a pathway for success to minimize the risk of further victimization and criminality, as well as provide a means to attain an earned discharge.”

Forty resource providers handed out literature and answered questions for several hours for the 180 female incarcerated participants.

Available resources represented at this event-included information for housing, employment, job training, education, substance abuse treatment and other services.

The busiest table throughout the event was the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“Just before I came in, I got my driver’s license while I was living in Southern California. I will be out within a year, and I was wondering whether it was still good, or if I would have to get another one?” one incarcerated attendee asked.

Many women inquired about the California Identification Card Program available to those who are 13 months from release and coordinated through the DMV.

DAPO officials say these resource fairs are vital for re-entry because by engaging with resource providers at the earliest opportunity, the incarcerated can begin planning their future goals now before release to increase the chances of continued success beyond parole.

Many of the women expressed interest in Caltrans and the Parolee Work Crew Program. The program is in six locations and four cities throughout the state; Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Stockton.

“This is a chance for me to start over with a program that I know will help me get back into the workforce, and be a productive citizen,” an incarcerated woman said.

Enrolling in and successfully completing a state-sponsored program could earn the offenders credits to put toward discharge. Parole agents were available to lend guidance and answer questions throughout the day.