About Us

Let’s Start began in 1989 when Sr. Jackie Toben SSND and 3 formerly incarcerated women began meeting informally. Since that time, Let’s Start has developed a support process for women in transition.

Women coming out of prison immediately face a number of challenges: housing, education, employment, dysfunctional families, or addictions. They are faced with overwhelming demands which often leave them feeling alone and powerless.

Let’s Start is a process dedicated to assisting women in transition from prison life to society. It is unique in that it is coordinated by women who themselves have been through the criminal justice system.

What we do…
Let’s Start supports incarcerated or formerly incarcerated women and their children, while promoting policy changes. The following are some of the resources Let’s Start provides for:

Incarcerated or Formerly Incarcerated Women

  • Weekly support groups at Let’s Start and the Clayton jail with follow-up and referrals for housing and employment;
  • Monthly parenting sessions;
  • Monthly legal clinic that offers free legal advice.

Children & Caregivers

  • Prison visitation program so children can visit their moms;
  • Individual and group therapy sessions for children;
  • Field trips for children to provide respite time for caregivers;
  • Monthly group sessions for caregivers;
  • Structured activities for children when their moms are at support group.

Outreach and Advocacy

  • Talks in the community about issues that impact their lives;
  • “Stories of Hope” – true stories relayed through dramatic presentations;
  • Discussions with legislators about policies that affect incarcerated or formerly incarcerated women’s lives and their children’s.

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