Women for Justice was a model program, which started in 1971 and gradually ended around 1997. The program, ran by women, became an independent organization in 1977 after originally being apart of the Women in Action’s Criminal Justice Division. It was dedicated to working with inmates, ex-offenders, all criminal justice agencies, Houston/Harris County Courts, and Goree State Prison.
The primary purpose of the program was to teach offenders to deal with the trauma of incarceration while they awaited trial or served short term sentences. Moreover, the organization strived to help inmates and offenders understand the court system as it pertained to them. The program tracked as many clients as possible so that they could be assisted in making future plans. Additionally, a community based Resource Center was established. Social services were provided to inmates, ex-offenders, parolees and their families in a non-threatening atmosphere by a group of citizen volunteers aptly named Volunteers in Action.
The services provided varied greatly. The Christmas project, which was conducted during the week of Christmas, provided inmates with donated socks, toiletries, apparel, etc. Job counseling was provided free of charge to help former inmates and parolees in search of employment. There were daily/weekly prison visitations/workshops given by Volunteers in Action. Women for Justice received financial support from numerous organizations and companies such as Shell Oil Company, Exxon U.S.A, and First Presbyterian Church. In addition, the M.D. Anderson Foundation donated a house, which allowed for the organization to effectively perform daily activities and operations.