Harris County Sheriff’s Office Celebrates First Anniversary of Women’s Empowerment Center

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Celebrates First Anniversary of Women’s Empowerment Center
Trisha Cornett, an HCSO Women's Empowerment Center incarcerated resident

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) are celebrating the first anniversary of the Women’s Empowerment Center, marking a year of transformative impact and empowerment for incarcerated women.

Established on February 25, 2023, the Women’s Empowerment Center has played a pivotal role in successful reentry and reducing recidivism rates among incarcerated women in Harris County. Through a holistic approach, the center offers tailored programs, counseling services, educational opportunities, and skill-building workshops aimed at equipping women with the necessary tools for a successful transition back into society.

Throughout the past year, the center has provided a range of services including anger management classes, G.E.D. courses offered by Houston Community College, finance classes, and job training programs. Residents have also benefited from recreational activities, spiritual support, and special events such as Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas celebrations, including the heartwarming Navidad en el Barrio initiative which provided Christmas gifts for children of incarcerated mothers.

With amenities such as a library with 900 books in English and Spanish, a recreation area, a garden of hope, a gym, and multiple classrooms, the Women’s Empowerment Center offers a supportive environment for its residents. Currently housing 18% of the female population at Harris County Jail, with an average length of stay of 60 days, the center primarily serves mothers, with 217 residents graduating from various programs over the past year.

As the center commemorates its first anniversary, Sheriff Gonzalez and the HCSO express gratitude to all who have contributed to its success, including staff, community partners, volunteers, and the courageous women who have embraced the journey of empowerment. Looking ahead to 2024, the focus remains on expanding course offerings and training opportunities, with plans to introduce online training to further support the residents’ growth and development.

Virtual Tour of the HCSO Women’s Empowerment Center: https://youtu.be/_kZChzZVydc