RIKERS ISLAND — There’s a place women who are incarcerated on Rikers Island can go to get everything they need to get them back to work once they are released, including clothes.
Jasmine Haynesworth, 26, has been incarcerated on Rikers Island for 14 months for an assault charge. She’s expected to be released in March.
“It’s exciting it took big step for me to get to this point and I can’t make any more mistakes,” she said. She’s ready to get back to work once she leaves these barbed wire fences and she’s also working on being the best version of herself.
“I took a lot of classes, when you’re leaving you gotta be prepared for a job.”
That’s why the Rose Petal Boutique was created in early January. It’s a store in the island that has everything from suits and shoes to mirrors and makeup for female inmates.
“Women are able to shop using boutique bucks which they earn by participating in re-entry programming,” said Anne Penson, the Executive Director for Women’s Initiative for the NYC Department of Correction.
Valerie Greisokh, Assistant Commissioner of Programs and Community Partnerships said It’s run by women who are in custody.
“They help operate the boutique, help with the clothing and inventory, and develop customer service skills.”
Sigrid Humphrey, 58, is a mother of four who’s also being released in March. She too used some of her boutique bucks.
“Some women don’t have money to buy clothes once they are released, this program is a plus,” she said.
Some of the classes that are provided to women in this program include professional development, resume writing, computer programming, cosmetology and anger management. According to both women, it will have benefits beyond the bars, ones they’re hoping will help them make a more positive impact in their communities.
“I experienced a lot in life just want to help the community,” said Haynesworth.
The clothes and shoes are donated by community organizations and DOC staff.
If you’d like to make a donation, contact Anne Penson at the Department of Correction at Anne.Penson@doc.nyc.gov .