While I was incarcerated at Marana State Prison, another inmate gave me a poem she wrote called “What No One Wants to Hear”. *It’s a pretty heavy poem- it captures a lot of the emotion of being incarcerated- anger, sadness, isolation, and inhumanity.
I had been in and out of the system starting at the age of 26, each time as a consequence of my addiction to cocaine and crack. When I first read the poem I felt its truth. It illustrates how we feel as formerly incarcerated people as we try to enter back into society, and describes how others see us.
When I got out this last time, what I found most challenging was that I had no family support. My mom had passed away in 2004, which was my breaking point in life. I say “her death brought me life” because her death helped me to pursue sobriety. For a long time, my life in Arizona was about doing/selling drugs. I say “her death brought me life” because her death helped me to pursue sobriety. For a long time, my life in Arizona was about doing/selling drugs. That was actually a barrier to re-entry for me- I didn’t have a community of support to return to when I got out. Ultimately, what helped me overcome and rebuild my life was the support and resources I gained from the counselors in the Women in Recovery program I attended at Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center, which no longer exists.Continue reading
AFSC Arizona Program Director, Caroline Isaacs, discusses the impacts of border enforcement expansion on private detention centers.