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$ 65,000 grant
Holistic Legal Defense for Women

Many crimes committed by women are misdemeanors or low-level felonies. Since women are often primary caregivers for minor children, female incarceration can have lasting impacts on entire families. To reduce the likelihood of a client reoffending, the Santa Barbara Public Defender (SBPD) and FSA partnered in a two-year pilot called Holistic Defense Program, in which the public defender, social worker and client work together to address the offender’s crime and the life circumstances that contributed to her criminal behavior. The social worker connects offenders with services such as safe housing, employment, education, childcare and drug rehabilitation that can help them be less likely to commit future crimes. This grant will fund a second FSA social worker at SBPD to expand the Holistic Defense Program to 55 selected women and their children. Helping clients stabilize their lives so they avoid future crimes and incarceration will benefit their families and our community. Since 1899, FSA has provided mental health counseling, access to basic needs and family support.