I’ve been bad about posting as I’ve tried to get off to a good start workwise in the New Year. While I get up to speed, here are some of articles I’ve come across that might be of interest to ex-offenders and others who work with returning citizens:
On starting over: There’s an interesting piece in the Washington Post Magazine that tells the story of 49-year-old Louis B. Sawyer, who spent 25 years in prison and the challenges he’s facing trying to start life over. The writer does a great job of showing the multitude of challenges from housing, to finding a job, rebuilding trust that former felons face.
On the unintended victims of high incarceration rates: A growing number of children are facing life with an incarcerated parent, according to an article in California Watch. A recent study by non-profit Justice Strategies found that 1.7 million children in the U.S. now have a parent serving time, and as a result suffer the emotional trauma that goes along with that. A shout out to Piper Kerman for tweeting this one. For more information you can also refer to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated at Family and Corrections Network.
On mental illness in prison: Proof that this isn’t just an American problem. A recent study of a the Central Prison in Bangalore, India found that nearly 80 percent of inmates suffered from either mental illness or substance abuse.
On our flawed system: New York Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer received the John Jay /HF Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards, according to the Crime Report. In the New York Magazine article, “I Did It,” Robert Kolker told the story of Frank Sterling, who served19 years in prison after making a false confession. The Inquirer looked at the growing problems with Philadelphia’s criminal justice system in its “Justice Delayed, Dismissed, Denied” series.