By Teresa García Castro, Senior Program Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America.
Clean Start is a social enterprise led by women who have been in prison in Kenya. This organization— unique for Africa—aims at restoring hope, dignity, and self-confidence to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls, while breaking the cycles of poverty, crime, and recidivism.
Clean Start works with women and children impacted by the criminal justice system so that they can successfully reenter society. Clean Start’s reintegration vision starts inside prisons with their Spear Program and Circles of Healing, which aim to equip women and girls with life skills, education, and vocational training for their lives after prison.
In addition, Clean Start provides second chances to women and girls leaving prison through the Overcomers peer-led group and Tables of Support.
These pre-and post-release programs support women as they return to their communities, provide livelihood opportunities for formerly incarcerated women and girls, and, according to Clean Start, have reduced recidivism rates.