Wrongful Convictions: Innocent People Serving Time

Lately I’ve been watching videos about the exoneration of Derrick Wheat, Laurese Glover and Eugene Johnson, three young men recently released after serving 20 years in prison for a murder they didn’t commit. Their release has piqued my curiosity and I found myself watching countless other videos and reading articles about other individuals, such as Ricky Johnson, who were wrongly convicted. Continue reading

Coping with Mother’s Day When You Have Been Incarcerated

Around the time of Mother’s Day, I can’t help but reflect on my anti-social responses to such events. During my incarceration I learned to accept my inability to be with my family during special occasions. In fact, I became complacent, maybe even numb, about emotional needs that are often filled by spending time with loved ones. Continue reading

Trauma in Prison and in Reentry

Yesterday I went into the Correctional Treatment Facility (C.T.F.) to meet with the women incarcerated there who are preparing for reentry. I met with about 30 women in two housing units to share information with them about the reentry support services available to them upon their release. Continue reading

The Heart Break of a Child with a Parent in Prison

I know a young man named Carter who is 18 years old who lives in Chicago and his mother is in prison serving a LIFE sentence. She has been in prison most of his life. Even though he seems a little melancholy much of the time, for the most part he is a well-rounded individual. Carter doesn’t fit the stereotype of a child with a parent in prison. Continue reading

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