Felicity Huffman is using her court-ordered community service to help women who have been in prison to resume their lives and reclaim their place in society.
Huffman, who completed 11 days of her 14-day prison sentence for her part in the college admissions scandal in late October, was ordered to complete 250 hours of community service as well as pay a $30,000 fine. For her service, she opted to help fellow former female inmates.
According to People magazine, the actress has been working with the Los Angeles-based organization A New Way of Life. The group is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women reenter society by assisting them to find housing, jobs and overall mentoring.
“Felicity is a such a down-to-earth genuine caring person [and] she’s been very helpful and supportive to the women here,” the organization’s founder, Susan Burton, told the outlet. “She has connected with them in a real way and you can feel it. I think that is because they know she’s experienced in a small way what they have gone through being incarcerated.”
Burton went on to note that Huffman has been using her Hollywood talents to help some of the women prepare for an upcoming gala by assisting them in picking out dresses and setting up the location for the event.
“She’s been cooking for the women, cleaning the homes, shopping and answering the phone. We love having her here,” Burton added.
A source previously told Entertainment Tonight that “conditions at the prison were very difficult,” explaining there were “no real programs or initiatives to help the incarcerated women who were there.”
The insider added, “Felicity felt like the women in that facility were being discarded and left behind; they were forgotten.”
“She loved the women there and bonded with them,” the source said. “When she left she felt guilty leaving them behind.”
The “Desperate Housewives” star pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud earlier this year. She confessed to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughter’s answers on the SAT. She considered the same for her younger daughter but decided against it.
“I think this is the right sentence here,” U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani told Huffman at the time of her sentencing. “You can move forward and rebuild your life after this. Without this sentence, I think the community around you would ask why you got away with this.”
In addition to her work with A New Way of Life, Huffman has been spotted helping out at The Teen Project, a nonprofit organization that works with at-risk homeless teenagers involved in sex trafficking and those who suffer from addiction.
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