The Essex County Sheriff's Department's Women In Transition Facility opened on January 8, 2001. Located in Salisbury, this pre-release facility serves 24 women with drug and alcohol addictions. The facility has recently expanded to placing 14 women out on the Electronic Monitoring Program. The women placed are non-violent offenders with minimum criminal history. Prior to its opening, there was no such facility for women offenders in the county.

REHABILITATION AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
Group and individual treatment, continuing education, community service, and work release are some of the programs the facility's administrators use to assist offenders as they transition back into their communities. Offenders are brought to WIT from the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Framingham after they have been classified as eligible following meetings with WIT staff.

Upon arrival, offenders are tested and if they are found to be lacking their high school diploma or equivalent, they are automatically placed in an educational program. All offenders are required to participate in three staff-facilitated treatment groups per day. Participation in additional self-help meetings outside the facility is also required. Offenders are driven to and from those sessions by staff.

The WIT is located in a wing of the Maris House, a treatment facility for women addicted to drugs and alcohol. All participants are required to attend at least one counseling session with a Maris House clinician for an hour a week. Most attend for 90 minutes.

Offenders are also required to meet with their reintegration coordinator one hour a week.

Other programs include:

  • LITERACY
  • WORK RELEASE
  • CREATIVE ARTS
  • LIFE SKILLS
  • HIV/STD AWARENESS
  • SMOKING CESSATION
  • ANGER MANAGEMENT
  • PARENTING TUTORING
  • MENTORING
  • CREATIVE WRITING
  • WOMEN'S HEALTH ED.

AFTER - CARE PLANNING AND ASSISTANCE
This may include, but is not limited to: securing a halfway house or sober house placement; setting up an educational program; employment assistance; post-release counseling; and establishing a supportive self-help network.