The Chester County Women’s Commission donated $500 in bus tokens this week to the award-winning Women’s Reentry Assessment and Programming Initiative (WRAP), run by the Chester County Department of Probation, Parole and Pretrial Services.
The presentation was made during Tuesday’s Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine meeting. Women’s Commission Chair Denise Bailey and Vice Chair Wendy Leeper presented the bus tokens to Jennifer Lopez, deputy chief, Probation, Parole and Pretrial Services.
Established by the Chester County Commissioners more than 20 years ago, the Women’s Commission’s purpose is to provide regular input on the status and needs of women in Chester County.
In her remarks at Tuesday’s presentation, Denise Bailey noted the vision of the Women’s Commission to serve as a catalyst for change by drawing on the passion, spirit and strengths of women to create a more equitable community. “At a meeting with the County Commissioners earlier this year we talked about the WRAP program and how support of the women who participate in the program would directly answer to the mission of the Women’s Commission to empower women to reach their potential.”
Earlier this year, Chester County’s WRAP program won the top Criminal Justice and Public Safety award from the National Association of Counties and was selected as one of the top 25 programs recognized by Harvard University’s Innovation in Government Award program.
WRAP is a specialized assessment and supervision unit of Chester County’s Probation, Parole and Pretrial department that focuses on at-risk women who are transitioning from county incarceration or facing technical violations for supervision. It is a proven program, duplicated by other counties in the state, that helps to reduce recidivism and technical violations of community supervision, and that increases the health and well-being of justice-involved women.
“Women released from Chester County Prison face multiple challenges,” Lopez said. “The women need to reconnect with their families and reintegrate into their communities and transportation is one of the biggest issues. These bus tokens will significantly help the women attend meetings and get to job interviews.”
Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a strategic planning process and has a Aaa rating on its bonds from Moody’s Investors service as well as AAA ratings from Standards & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Established by William Penn as one of Pennsylvania’s three original counties, Chester County has been named by Forbes.com as one of America’s best places to raise a family and is ranked the healthiest county in Pennsylvania by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.