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

Drug Abuse, Criminality and Recovery

I have been reflecting on drug abuse and criminality over the last few days. When I was incarcerated I saw countless women recycled throughout the prison system on violations due to relapse and probation/parole violations. Today I often see many of those women still struggling with the grip of addiction. I find myself wondering what they are running from, what they are trying to bury, and what are they searching for. Continue reading

Honoring Formerly Incarcerated Individuals at CSOSA

Yesterday I attended a Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) award ceremony in Washington, D.C. for Returning Citizens who are making strides to successfully reintegrate and for mentors who are working tirelessly to make a positive difference in the lives of formerly incarcerated men and women. Various city officials were charged with nominating a Returning Citizen for an award. I was one of the recipients. Continue reading

Handling Death after Incarceration

It was in February 2015 that I lost my niece. She was 41 years old. We were more like sisters because we were born one month apart. My family members tell stories about how babysitting me and my niece (my oldest sister’s daughter) was like babysitting twins because we both would cry at the same time. Throughout my life we were inseparable. Then, I went to prison. Continue reading

Finding a Job after Incarceration Begins in the Mind

I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine, Rhonda Lewis, about getting employed after being in prison and how it relates to being positive and the law of attraction. Rhonda is an aspiring entrepreneur who enjoys cooking. She got her first job the day she was released from prison. Here’s part of her story, in her own words: Continue reading

Incarcerated Women’s Mental Health Challenges

Prior to my incarceration, I had little or no knowledge about mental health conditions that adversely impact women, such as Bulimia, Anorexia, and Cutting. To be honest, I learned what little I did know from various television and talk shows. There was a myth that only Caucasian women were confronted with such ills. Admittedly, some cultures are less likely to accept the need for mental health treatment. For many people, seeking a therapist is a sure sign of inadequacy. They pride themselves on being “strong” and they shun “weakness,” but in order to become a whole and healthy person, sometimes these attitudes need to be overhauled. Continue reading

Women in Reentry – Beatrice Codianni – Teresa Guidice’s Bust

Beatrice Codianni is a 66-year-old woman who served 15 years in prison after her conviction for Racketeering. She was a well-known gang leader who was released in 2008 from FCI Danbury. She went on to successfully reintegrate into the community becoming the Managing Editor of Reentry Central, a national website devoted to criminal justice reform and reentry. Continue reading

Women In Reentry: Overcoming Emotional Deprivation and Vulnerability

Incarceration is traumatic. For women it’s particularly emotionally damaging. I guess if it’s true that women are emotional creatures by nature that would explain the damages to some extent. We do know that women are nurturers by nature. When women are in prison they are deprived of the opportunity to nurture their children, spouses and even their pets. Continue reading