What's New in Prison Resources

Provided by The Sentencing Project

Incarceration rates are soaring, despite a 40% drop in violent crime since 1990. Learn how you can get involved with criminal justice reform following the stories below.:What’s New in Prison Resources

Living Yoga Classes in Prison

Living Yoga Classes in Prison

In the ear breaking noise of a women's full custody prison unit, I noticed that…

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The Northwest Regional Re-entry Center

The Northwest Regional Re-entry Center

The Northwest Regional Re-entry Center (NWRRC) helps offenders make a safe and…

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Mercy Corp Launched Lifelong Education for Entrepreneurs

Mercy Corp Launched Lifelong Education for Entrepreneurs

In 2007, MCNW launched Lifelong Education for Entrepreneurs (LIFE) at the…

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A Volunteer’s Chance to Make a Difference Behind Bars

A single mom of two, Monica has a packed schedule. There are many other places…

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All Women Deserve to be Treated with Human Dignity – Especially While Pregnant

All Women Deserve to be Treated with Human Dignity – Especially While Pregnant

As a conservative organization that focuses on improving the criminal justice…

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Can We Build a Better Women’s Prison?

Can We Build a Better Women’s Prison?

I served six years at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, 2003-2011. The…

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What’s New in Prison Resources

What’s New in Prison ResourcesFalling is the story of how a middle-aged mom learns to navigate life on the Inside. Over the six years I was incarcerated, I learned how to eat a meal in 10 minutes with a spork. I learned obedience and humility. I learned lurid slang. I learned how to keep my mouth shut. I learned how to mother from behind bars, miles from my teenage daughters. And finally, I learned how to love the unloveable, including myself.

I was released from prison on April Fools’ Day 2011. The date is not lost on me. It is a yearly reminder to reflect on my mistakes. Reestablishing myself took years. I didn’t have the energy to write or reflect about prison. I was moving forward. I met some surprising women behind bars and was touched and changed by their stories. I made a promise that I would free their voices. In moments of vulnerability, we shared common grief and pain from the harm we caused by our actions. I began writing Falling four years later. When I finally opened that black door, images and memories came flooding back. One day, I saw the same Intake plastic brown sandals at Rite-Aid. I felt sick all over again. I wondered how I survived it.

It was my original intention to write a guidebook. No one had written one about women’s prisons when I needed it. I remember awaiting sentencing, wondering things like, will I get a bra? Will I have to sit behind a glass partition to see my children? Who, exactly, are the women? I took out my journals, photos, and letters from prison. I opened up a large box that held scraps of paper with the inmate women’s quotes. I picked through them, laughing and crying. I was able to see their faces and their gestures. I could easily recreate the scene. I organized the scraps into heaps and chapters that made sense but to only me. I needed help.