Violence, Crime and Self-Esteem

I’m so grateful that God does not waste time when it’s time for me to learn what I need to learn. The very day I arrived to the transitional house after being released from incarceration the women of the house were engrossed in a self-esteem class. Before unpacking my bags I decided to sit in on the class. They were talking about the messages we hear and how they affect our self-esteem. I spoke in the class about how I heard such great things about the group from Continue reading

Understanding Youth Violence

The other day I was honored to address an audience of formerly incarcerated women at a woman’s conference who are in the beginning stages of the reentry process. Before I was introduced, they had an opportunity to view Time Zone, a documentary about the first year of my release. Watching Time Zone, along with an audience for the first time, was overwhelming to say the least. Oftentimes I look back and I Continue reading

Children with Incarcerated Mothers: Remembering Them

Yolanda Adams has a song I love called What About the Children? “Remember when we were children…” she sings. I love that song. It always makes me think about the hundreds of thousands of children (including my own) who have incarcerated mothers, or mothers who have been formerly incarcerated. It gives me hope that someone, maybe for a moment, will remember them. Continue reading

Segregation, Also Known as 23-Hour Lockdown, Is a Prison Inside of a Prison

Last week someone interviewed me about the time I spent in the Segregation Housing Unit (SHU) while I was incarcerated. She asked me things like, how did you pass the time? How often were you able to use the telephone? Had experienced violence while in the SHU? Those questions took me on a journey through a time that I would not care to remember. When I was being interviewed, I kept waiting for the woman to ask me how I was able to Continue reading