Direct Services

“We provide help — not just one-time help from a counselor, but from the entire staff, community of students, alumnae, partners and donors.”
–Maria Santangelo

This page provides an overview of our direct service programs; for more information,  contact us.

Women with criminal justice histories come to CCF for our individualized services and our supportive community. Our students have earned over 330 degrees (including a PhD and a JD) with cohort graduation rates as high as 93% and a cumulative recidivism rate less than 3% over 18 years.

In addition to our successful Academic Support Program, in 2019 we’ll be re-launching our Peer Mentoring Program and launching our new Career Advancement Program.

Learn more about our services below!

Academic Support Program

CCF’s largest program, the ASP, helps women with criminal convictions earn their college degrees so that they, their families, and their communities can thrive. From help applying to and enrolling in college, to guidance on choosing the right major, to assistance finding financial aid, our academic counselors will help you every step of the way.

We also provide financial coaching to make sure you’re able to sustain yourself, your family, and your education. If you need help that we don’t

offer, we’ll refer you to one of our program partners for legal assistance, healthcare, or whatever else you might need.

Once you’re enrolled in our program and complete your first 12 credits as a CCF student, you become eligible for financial assistance covering:

  • Books
  • School supplies
  • Transportation
  • Tutoring
  • Emergencies (on a case-by-case basis)

You’ll also become eligible to apply for academic scholarships!

Community Sisters

Community Sisters is for women who want to pursue a higher education but who aren’t yet ready. Community Sisters keeps women on track to pay back old school debts, earn their high school equivalency, or overcome other barriers to college.

Career Enhancement Education Program (CEEP)

CEEP helps women earn high-quality career certifications as a stepping stone to a college degree, or in addition to a college degree to increase employability. CEEP students have earned certifications in areas like medical assistance, project management, and substance use counseling.


Women enrolled in the Academic Support Program, Community Sisters, and CEEP participate in our monthly community meetings. Meetings cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Know your rights
  • Academic wellness planning
  • Budgeting and debt repair
  • Job hunting, from resume to interview
  • Self-care

Eligibility: The Academic Support Program (including Community Sisters and CEEP) is open to women who have had criminal justice involvement within the last ten years (women with convictions older than 10 years will be admitted on a case by case basis) and are interested in earning their college degrees.

To find out more about whether you are eligible, please contact our Recruitment/Intake/Support Coordinator, Jacqueline Thompson! (646) 380-7770


Coming in 2019!

Peer Mentoring Program

CCF matches peer mentors with women who will be released within 180 days to help smooth the transition back into society and to help work higher education into their reentry plans.

Eligibility: Incarcerated women join the program as mentees and receive 12 weeks of reentry support programming before their release, all while exchanging letters with their mentors.

Mentors are justice-impacted women who have already earned their college degrees and can help guide mentees through the reentry process, from pre-release to one year post-release.

Career Advancement Program

CAP is designed for women with criminal convictions who are pursuing or already have a college degree. CAP meets women where they’re at to find employment opportunities with mobility, and that match their educational and professional goals.  

Eligibility: Women who have had a criminal conviction or ATI sentence and are interested in a college degree, currently pursuing a college degree, or have a college degree already.

For more information on the Peer Mentoring Program or Career Advancement Program, please contact Director of Programs Maria Santangelo at