Second Chance for Women
Second Chance for Women provides assistance to women serving sentences ranging 15 years to life with the possibility of parol expressing deep remorse for their crimes and no longer a threat to society. Central to Second Chance for Women’s mission is ending the “life means life” policy adopted by the Glendening Administration. Approximately 10% of individuals serving life sentences in Maryland are women, more than triple the national average of 3%. As of April 2014, almost 25% of the women at Maryland’s only women’s prison ,Maryland Correctional Institute for Women (MCIW), are serving sentences of 15 years or more, and 6.5% of those women are serving life with the possibility of parole sentences. Increased advocacy in the parole system is necessary to bring Maryland in line with national trends. Second Chance for Women currently serves more than 50 women in various capacities, including parole preparation, domestic violence support groups, and connection to post-conviction and re-entry resources. SCW is the only organization operating at MCIW that focuses on providing parole assistance to women serving sentences of 15 years or more. Our work is grounded in the firm belief that women who committed a crime for which they express deep remorse and who have taken extensive strides towards rehabilitation are worthy of a second chance. We partner with the Maryland Parole Commission, law school legal clinics, and various advocacy organization to seek change for incarcerated women in Maryland. We work directly with pro-bono attorneys to provide legal representation to our clients and are always in need of new pro-bono partners.