Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Meyers, Herman


The Vermont Agency of Human Services Incarcerated Women’s Initiative (IWI), constituted in April of 2005, was instrumental in supporting the development and implementation of a pilot project, which encompassed three communities in Vermont. The Pilot programs aimed to reduce and prevent incarceration of women whose criminogenic problems were related to their substance use and abuse. These innovative projects are the subject of this mixed methods evaluative study – to determine the extent to which involvement in this project changed the behaviors leading to incarceration and in effect, succeeded in reducing incarceration and further involvement with the criminal justice system. Qualitative data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with former program participants and staff of the projects. Descriptive data was collected through quarterly reports from the project managers to the Vermont Department of Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, the funding agency, and the Vermont Department of Corrections. Each of the sites were compared and contrasted to tell the stories of the women who participated, and to gather the wisdom of the people who worked with them. The outcomes of the study supported the continued utilization of the key strategies of the Drug Education, Treatment, Enforcement and Rehabilitation (DETER) projects in facilitating greater engagement and retention in treatment, and reducing further incarceration in the study subjects. Recommendations for policy change include greater access statewide to Dedicated Case Management, Collaborative Inter-disciplinary Team Planning, and Wrap-Around Services for women offenders.