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Truth Be Told provides safe, healing community for women during and after incarceration. We envision a society in which all justice-involved women are restored to integrity, thereby, breaking the cycle of incarceration.

Truth Be Told CARES: Community, Authenticity, Respect, Empathy, Strength.

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IRS EIN: 42-1558329
Phone Number: 512-415-0827
Address: PO Box 40221
Austin, TX 78704
Women are now the fastest-growing segment of our nation's prison population, tracking an incarceration rate that is nearly twice as fast as that of men. They have unique risk factors: elevated rates of interpersonal abuse, substance dependence, trauma-related health issues and a need for gender-specific programs. Yet, the majority of rehabilitative programs offered inside our nation's correctional facilities - a system built by men for men - take a gender-neutral stance.

Truth Be Told closes this documented service gap by offering programs designed by women for women. Our programs recognize and speak directly to the unique risk factors women face. Through classes that offer healing through storytelling and expressive arts, life skills and self-care tools, we empower women to break free from the imprisoning cycle of past trauma and abuse.

Our programs also reduce stigma and re-entry barriers for justice-involved women by inviting people from the community to participate in the healing process. By treating justice-involved women as unique and valuable human beings, they begin to value themselves and gain the courage and commitment to make better choices in life.

Impact Statement

A 2017 survey of TDCJ data revealed that 86.2 percent of Truth Be Told graduates have remained free three years after being released from prison. This rate beats the state of Texas' recidivism rate for women and equates to nearly $1 million in savings when figuring the daily cost of incarcerating a person.

Imagine the ripple effect on our economy and in our communities if Truth Be Told could reach more justice-involved women.

Needs Statement

Since 2000, Truth Be Told has grown from one storytelling class at Lockhart women's prison to offering eight unique programs in five women's correctional facilities in Austin, Del Valle, Lockhart, Bryan and Gatesville. Each year, our organization touches the lives of about 1,000 justice-involved women in Texas.

We at Truth Be Told have a great desire to package our powerful curriculum and make it available to incarcerated women throughout and beyond Texas. We also want to develop our programs beyond prison walls to better support the growing needs of our graduates who have returned to society and desire a safe community for themselves and their families.

But these goals have proven difficult to achieve with a part-time executive director, a full-time director of programs and an ever-evolving community of volunteers. It takes every resource we have to deliver quality programs to the nearly thousand women we serve each year.

So, we have deemed 2018 as the Year of Capacity Building. We aim to break through our operational plateau by investing in our infrastructure, starting with raising enough funds to employ a full-time executive director -- a first in Truth Be Told's 18-year history.

We also want to hire hourly help and purchase technology to streamline operational pain points, so our executive team can be freed up to work toward program expansion.
"Truth Be Told offers the women on this facility an opportunity to develop and improve themselves through creativity and open honesty. The changes that take place in these women following completion of Truth Be Told programs is amazing. I have noticed women who have, for the first time, developed a sense of self-esteem, a spirit of courage, and a desire to be productive members of society - many of whom want to give back by working with organizations to bring this concept to others. Thank you, Truth Be Told, for giving so many of these inmates that which they never had before: the beauty and sense of self." - former prison chaplain, Lockhart Unit

"There are times in our lives when negative circumstances yield positive results. For me, Truth Be Told was exactly that. The programs taught me the importance of community, and having the ability to express my truth whether it was good or bad. I found myself wanting to change my life and my circumstances, desperately needing to find a way not to repeat events that had caused me great loss and pain. The facilitators are not a group of academically trained individuals that have no 'real' experience with heartache, pain, loss or mistakes. They are a group of individuals who can, and do offer real life experience to each person who enters the program. They are mothers, daughters, friends who have lived through similar issues and give of themselves in a way that makes others believe that there is a silver lining; a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, a life after the storm. Truth Be Told allowed me the tools I needed to transform my life. I have pursued my dreams, attained some of my goals, reconnected with my family and I am certain that I couldn't have done it without Truth Be Told." - Colette Marshall, Truth Be Told program graduate

Truth Be Told "has multiple impacts on the inmates' ability to gain insight into the factors that had led to their incarceration, to articulate these factors and to feel that they have value despite their history of incarceration. … We believe that the Truth Be Told program, which contains elements from a number of psychological approaches - storytelling, restorative justice, encounter groups, and the confessional approach - has demonstrated both its efficacy and its administrative appropriateness." - Dr. Michael W. Ross, Department of Family Medicine and Health, University of Minnesota Medical School
Diverse board members with expertise in strategic planning, business development, fundraising, marketing/communications, curriculum development/licensing, grants, program evaluations, trauma/abuse/addiction, mental health, incarceration/criminal justice.
Administrative: data entry, marketing/communications, event planning.
Program: facilitating a program in a prison or jail; serving as a respectful witness at graduation; sharing your talent at prison workshop or annual performance; mentoring a program graduate who has been released.