Category: Multimedia

Reframing Justice: What No One Wants To Hear

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.

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Handwritten poem “What One Wants to Hear”

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.

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Michele and her mother, Shirley

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.

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