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We Need Your Help

By Chanell Burnette, VCCW

One seemingly indomitable issue plaguing people upon release from prison is the apparent lack of resources. This is especially problematic for us women who have unfortunately endured the harsh reality of a broken system -- one designed for nothing more than our destruction. How are we to build without the proper tools?

Not only is there a lack of necessary transitional housing, but the absence of any well-structured and truly informative reentry programming within these prisons. The Department of Corrections for years, has been receiving federal funding to operate these unsuccessful reentry programs. I say unsuccessful because as one whom has served 17 years behind bars, I see many of the same faces cycle in and out repeatedly year after year. This is unacceptable and is a direct reflection of misappropriated funds. Something must change, lest the door continues to revolve.

Albeit the entire carceral system is in need of reconditioning, it is not irreparable. But it will take a more holistic approach if we are to ever see positive results. It can be done, but only by those who truly have a vested interest in doing so.

And being that women stand at a disadvantage already, who better to take the lead and begin the movement? We are willing, ready and more than capable to carry out this mission.

Recently I have had the honor of meeting two women who have communicated a rock solid plan to do just that and they have blessed me with the opportunity to assist in such a project. However, this will require a collective effort to implement. Such an endeavor will demand funding and volunteers. Will you help us see to it that women have an equal advantage to make a smooth transition back into society? We need you. Thank you.


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