Pa. First Lady Frances Wolf recognizes the toll incarceration takes on women. She wants to help.

Written by on October 15, 2021

Pa. First Lady Frances Wolf recognizes the toll incarceration takes on women. She wants to help.

By Hayden Mitman

October 15, 2021

Photo| courtesy of Gov. Wolf’s website

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The First Lady of Pennsylvania met recently with women who have been incarcerated in order to learn about the challenges they face when reentering society.

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Before she was the state’s first lady, Frances Wolf served on the board of Atkins House, a halfway home for women. 

It was there that she learned the toll the criminal justice system can take on women, Wolf said.

“Before these women were incarcerated, each and every one of them was a member of their community. Many of them were mothers. Most of them experienced trauma. Most of them battled mental health and substance abuse challenges,” she said. 

About 2,000 women are incarcerated in the state of Pennsylvania. In an effort to learn what they’ll face when they leave prison, Wolf has begun a series of virtual conversations on women in reentry.

“I believe there is so much power in giving people with lived experience the opportunity to share their stories if we truly want to make meaningful changes to our systems,” said Wolf.

Tinika Hogan, an incarcerated women’s work group consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, was formerly incarcerated. She discussed the hardships she faced when she reentered society.

“You know, coming home is a big transition. It’s hard to start something new,” Hogan said.

Follow-up conversations will discuss strategies for combating issues that impact women’s reentry, such as mental health, housing, family reunification and employment.

Discussions will be available on the Facebook page for One Lens PA and on

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