About CCF


our work isn’t transactional.

it’s transformational.

We believe that women with criminal justice histories are capable of achieving the dreams they had for themselves before they were ever impacted by the system. Our work helping women earn college degrees has always been the core of our identity. We foster a sense of community to help our students build their networks, resources, and social capital.

origins of Ccf

CCF was founded in 2001 by Barbara Martinsons, a sociology professor at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Barbara realized that many of her students didn’t have the resources or support to complete their degrees post-release, so she created CCF as a way to mentor women with criminal justice histories working toward their degrees in the community.


today, we address individual, institutional, and systemic change

through our three main program areas

Direct Services

Programs focused on education, career, financial development, and community-building for women with criminal justice histories in NYC address change on an individual level.

technical assistance

Our THRIVE technical assistance program works with institutions like nonprofits, parole and probation offices, colleges, and businesses to support the successful integration of all criminal justice-involved people across the nation.

policy & advocacy

Our systemic change works is comprised of advocacy training for women impacted by incarceration, while our national campaigns aim to increase access to higher education for currently and formerly incarcerated students regardless of gender.