#awareness / #education / #jail / #unify

How Former Prisoners Are Set Up to Fail, Especially if They’re Women.

I served my time and I was out. But it didn’t matter. It’s like I was still serving a life sentence.

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Tiffany Johnson felt excited, scared, and a little disbelieving on the day she was released from Central California Women’s Facility

Her troubles began with the ordinary modern day routines, like learning to use a cell phone and getting used to closing a door herself to be alone in a room. Then there were real challenges. As a felon, she was banned from most low-income housing, and finding a job seemed near impossible. In prison she had become an expert electrician, supervising and training the other women in her penitentiary’s electrical sector. Yet every time she applied for a job, she had to check a box admitting her criminal history and never even got interviews. She finally contacted the electronic company her prison subcontractor supplied, figuring they’d give her a chance. “They didn’t,” Tiffany, now 46, said, rolling her eyes. “I served my time and I was out. But it didn’t matter. It’s like I was still serving a life sentence.”

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a36907/prisoners-reentry-programs/


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