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

Wardens in FPC Alderson in Conversation with Jeri Kirby, West Virginia University Professor of The Inside Out Program

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking to the Bureau of Prisons Warden’s Advisory Council in reference to programming in female facilities and reentry efforts. I spoke alongside Jeri Kirby of West Virginia University. She is a professor who served two years in prison two decades ago. Since her release, she has obtained her degree and currently teaches the Inside Out Program to incarcerated individuals. Continue reading

Available Resources for Incarcerated Women

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking to the women currently incarcerated in the Secure Female Facility Hazelton (SFF) through video conferencing. I was one of several panelists who spoke to the women about the available resources in the District of Columbia that can assist them with reentry. Continue reading

Speaking About Mother’s Day in Prison

Roach Brown, a radio personality on 89.3 FM, WPFWFM.org, reached out to me and asked me to come on his show and speak about what it means to be a mother in prison on Mother’s Day. I was reluctant. I thought that he was looking for a compelling story about how sad it was every year on the second Sunday in May as mother’s day came and went. 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

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