In the spring of 2015, inspired by a service by Minister Emerita Jeanne Nieuwejaar, a group formed to support women as they are released from the Women’s Prison in Goffstown. The Women In Transition Team (WITT) meets monthly. Donna Ryan is the chair, with Jeanne Nieuwejaar as an advisor. Sandy Springer is the transportation coordinator and Mary Ann Pank coordinates clothing. Betty Sweeney prepares toiletry kits given to each woman when she is picked up. We also created a WITT brochure for distribution at the prison and in local parole offices.
Representatives from Citizens Concerned for Justice and folks from the Peterborough UU church and the Jaffrey Friends have attended many of our meetings, and in turn, WITT members have gone to their meetings. These groups have mutual goals and hope to continue their collaboration. In the summer of 2015, three training sessions were held to guide volunteers in the most effective way to interact with the clients that we serve. Those sessions were recorded and are available as a resource to new WITT members. We continue to explore a variety of ways that WITT can provide support. Within the first six months of forming, WITT provided transportation from the prison for three women and clothing for one. If you are interested in learning more about WITT, contact Donna Ryan.