Inside the Jail

Women have distinctive pathways to criminal involvement and studies by the National Institute of Corrections show that rehabilitative programs are more effective if responsive to gender-based differences. Resolana‘s program development has been guided by extensive research into the gender-specific needs of incarcerated women.

Watch a Video of our dance team
by Christina Barany at People Newspapers

Resolana has helped me understand my problems, how to do better in my situation. It gives me energy, motivates me to open up and face fears and problems.” — Martha

Our program at Dallas County Jail meets all criteria recognized as important for women: it is holistic, relational, strengths based, trauma informed, recovery oriented, realistic about women’s socioeconomic marginalization, delivered in an environment of safety and respect, and linked to a system of collaborative community services.

Sample Schedule for Resolana’s Dedicated Tank

Watch a video about our work at Dallas County Jail

“This class is very educational. It feels great to utilize these coping skills. They actually work!” — Sarah

The women who apply for Resolana‘s dedicated program tank are screened and moved into an ongoing intake group undergoing orientation and assimilation. They are then assigned to a roster of about 24 women and participate in one of two parallel program tracks. These tracks include classes and workshops in seven key areas:

1. MENTAL HEALTH: Seeking Safety, an evidence based curriculum that focuses on healthy coping skills for women with addiction and PTSD, has long been central toResolana’s program and is also used in county treatment facilities. Psychoeducational classes for the many victims of domestic violence or survivors of childhood sexual abuse are taught by Family Place therapists.

2. LIFE SKILLS: Classes like Healthy Relationships, SelfWork, Planning for Change, Anger Management andJob Readiness are offered on a rotating basis.

3. PARENTING: A class series taught by the Child Abuse Prevention Center alternates with one based on the Nurturing Families with Substance Abuse curriculum and supplemented with material from Waiting for Mommy, a study of incarcerated women and their children.

4. WELLNESS: Yoga classes provide an opportunity for exercise and teach the women stress management tools, while other workshops focus on health issues.

5. CREATIVITY: Our integration of the arts (visual art, dance, music, drama, creative writing and storytelling) into programming is particularly innovative and effective in engaging women with traumatic backgrounds and alternative learning styles. Resolana’s popular medley of creativity workshops helps us build the strong sense of community that underpins our deeper work.

6. 12 STEP: The team that leads weekly AA meetings was organized by a former Resolana participant. The rosters alternate between AA and Alanon.

7. RESOURCES: A licensed clinical social worker facilitates workshops on reentry resources and does case management for those who are being released without supervision.

photo by David Williams

“I wouldn’t have known where to turn if it wasn’t for Resolana. Thank you for all the care that has been shown to me. The teachers and counselors are very supportive.”  — Adrienne

Resolana‘s holistic program is designed to address the core issues and risk factors underlying women’s addictions and criminal justice involvement. We focus on substance abuse because, unless this problem has been addressed, other programming designed to rehabilitate the women is likely to be ineffective.

In our program, participants learn to support each other as they affirm their strengths, confront their addictions, work on breaking old destructive patterns, and witness what it means to be an accountable adult. They develop coping skills, build alternative behaviors and experience positive ways of relating to others and spending their time.

photo by David Williams

“I feel myself heal week after week. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m a much healthier person. Thank you.”  — LaWanda

photo by David Williams

Resolana  –  PO Box #225175  –  Dallas, Texas 75222  –  USA.   Email:

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