My Experience with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

In the next month or so I will begin going into D.C. Jail to talk to the women who are incarcerated there about reentry resources and basic life skills to assist with their reintegration into society. The approval process to get into D.C. Jail has been arduous. I had to give them everything except a blood sample. I wouldn’t be surprised if they accessed my prison records to pull my DNA. Before I was released from Federal Prison in 2011 I gave up a sample of my DNA as a mandatory condition of my release. All prisoners have to give up their DNA these days. Continue reading

Life as a ‘A Missouri Incorrigible’ in Special Management Facility (SMF)

One of the things I find most perplexing about incarcerated men is how they are able to withstand such lengthy periods in the hole, or in segregation, locked down in their cells. Women in prison serve periods in the hole, or the SHU – Segregation Housing Unit, for disciplinary infractions, but the terms are shorter. Throughout my 18 years in prison, the longest stint I served in the hole was 90 days. Continue reading

Role Models and Their Impact on My Criminality and Reentry

My name is Curtis Brothers. Growing up I had guys in my neighborhood that tried to tell me to do the right thing in life, but I always let their advice slip in one ear and out of the other. These guys were the worst role models ever. I guess they were living by that old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do” because they used to tell me to go to school and stay out of trouble, all while they were standing on the block selling drugs. I looked up to those guys. I wanted to be like them. Continue reading

A Male View: Traumatic Incarceration and Reentry

My younger brother Spanky served 12 years in prison. He is now in the thick of the reentry process. I often wonder how it must feel for him to be sleeping on the couch in his older sister’s apartment. He has never held down a steady, living wage job due to his low educational and skill level, yet he is a hard worker. Continue reading