Diana Stanley

The Lord’s Place/Halle Place (FL)

The women of The Lord’s Place Burckle Place and Halle Place enjoyed a day of art at the Norton gallery.

The statistics tell a grim story: Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population, increasing at nearly double the rate of men.  In Florida alone, the number of women in jail has increased 787%, and the number of women in prison has increased 733% since 1980. Women caught up in the criminal justice system are more likely to suffer from a range of mental illness, have experienced physical and sexual abuse or trauma, and struggle with substance abuse.

As daunting as those numbers are, Diana Stanley knows that they tell only a partial story. As Chief Executive Officer of The Lord’s Place, Stanley and her team witness the incalculable societal impact of women’s incarceration. Not only have they been separated from children and loved ones, creating shame and guilt, they rarely have access to services that address the underlying issues that landed them there in the first place. For more than four decades, The Lord’s Place has dedicated itself to ending homelessness, and its Halle Place supportive housing program is specifically focused on giving formerly incarcerated women the tools and support they need to thrive and succeed.

“There is no one-size-fits-all,” says Stanley. “We work with each woman who comes through Halle Place to identify what they need and what the barriers are to getting there. We offer career exploration and on-the-job training experiences, gender-responsive programming, substance abuse prevention, health and mental health support, financial literacy, life skills around healthy relationships and healthy living, family reunification, literacy and GED support, leadership curriculum and conflict resolution.”

Stanley says that Halle Place is one of The Lord’s Place’s most exciting, fulfilling programs—and one of the most challenging. “We aren’t just serving women, we’re serving entire families that have been impacted by the incarceration. The women we work with are resilient, and they are committed to reuniting with their families, restoring trust, and rebuilding their lives.”