Women, Re-entry and Everyday Life: Time to Work?

Yesterday I attended a training with the theme of women and reentry entitled, Women, Re-entry and Everyday Life: Time to Work? Dr. Venezia Michalsen facilitated the event. The training was based on a research study conducted by the Women’s Prison Association (WPA) to determine how the use of time after incarceration impacts reentry and employment for women. It was awesome. Dr. Michalsen was a magnificent speaker. 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

Searching for Happiness after Incarceration

I just had my 41st birthday this week and it’s been very challenging. I had many friends try to get me out of the house to celebrate, but I just wasn’t in the mood. If there is one thing I have learned over the past three years it’s that you can never look at a person and assume that because they seem well put together that they are not facing personal difficulties. Continue reading

Public Perceptions and Re-Entry: How Society Views Criminals Who They Don’t Know Personally

Last week I took my car to the dealer on my lunch break. It was making a weird noise. After discovering that my fan belt needed to be replaced, I got nervous. I only get 30 minutes for lunch. I asked the office manager at the dealership to allow me to use the telephone to call my boss and tell him I might be out a bit longer. When I hung up the phone we got into a conversation about the work I do with men and women returning from incarceration. As I began to Continue reading

Reentry and Learning to Live Again after Serving Over Four Decades in Prison

I’ve been working with a client who has spent 42 years in prison. When he comes into my office everything ceases. I am committed to giving him my undivided attention. We spend time talking, teaching and connecting to resources. 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

Mentally Arrested

I have a friend who was incarcerated for 16 years. He has been home for over a decade. Last week he celebrated his 45th birthday. He partied for two weeks straight. I joked, “You are partying like you just came home.” He replied, “I’ve been home for 10 years and I’m still a lover of life…. Sometimes when I’m in the club I still have those moments when Continue reading