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

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

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

Violence, Crime and Self-Esteem

I’m so grateful that God does not waste time when it’s time for me to learn what I need to learn. The very day I arrived to the transitional house after being released from incarceration the women of the house were engrossed in a self-esteem class. Before unpacking my bags I decided to sit in on the class. They were talking about the messages we hear and how they affect our self-esteem. I spoke in the class about how I heard such great things about the group from Continue reading

I’m Not Who I Use To Be

On Christmas Day I had the opportunity to see one of my sisters for the first time in over two decades. She lives three hours away from where I am based in Washington, DC. I never saw her while I was incarcerated, and even though I was released in 2011, she was not able to come to see me until now. When she walked into my mom’s house, I screamed, hugged her and asked jokingly, “Where have you been all my life?” She replied Continue reading