By Susan Landrum, 9to5 Atlanta Intern
Did you know that while women comprise a small segment of all the people serving prison terms in the U.S., their number is rising at a far faster rate than that of men? Incarceration of women has profound impacts on the families and communities left behind. Barriers faced by those who are formerly incarcerated or convicted of a crime include lack of access to housing, food stamps and employment, and unfortunately, much more.
I am passionate about this issue because of my work with another amazing organization, Reforming Arts (RA). RA provides weekly theater and liberal arts courses to women experiencing incarceration at Lee Arrendale State Prison. I have spent time with students at LASP and have heard their profound concerns about what life will look like after incarceration. Also, because of my exposure to the challenges our alumni face once they are outside of the system, I can attest that our current criminal justice system stacks the cards against successful reentry.
However, Gov. Deal of Georgia is listening to organizations and constituents seeking to reform the system, both for those inside and those re-entering. That’s why this event, The REAL Effects of a Criminal Record, is so important. This interactive and informative day will culminate in a call to action that will ask us to engage our legislators and networks in reforming this very broken system.
I hope you all can join 9to5 and the partnering organizations on Saturday September 28th at Our Lady of Lourdes Church (25 Boulevard NE Atlanta, GA 30312) for this important opportunity to strengthen this movement.