Category Archives: Shame and Advocacy

Gloria and Ruth – TAJ Members

The telephone rings late on a Sunday night. The local TV news report has ended. Following a series of questions, hospital personnel informs me that my son is in the emergency room. I would need to come to the hospital for more information. I had no idea of what had happened, but would soon realize that my family and I was entering the criminal justice system and my son was entering the “war of prison”.  As the aunt I received my call early the next morning. My nephew is where? What happened?  I was stunned and angry at my nephew. Our family had no history of any family member being incarcerated. We were forced to enter a system we had no knowledge of. It was clear the odds were stacked against us and it did not take long to feel the shame and stigma of our situation, although we never said the words out loud.

He would be released on parole after 22 years and 7 months of jail and prison incarceration to an alternative confinement of ankle and home monitoring. The excitement of his being at home is marred and strained with the restrictions limiting employment, health access, emotional, physical, and monetary resources needed to comply with the parole placement plan. Being part of the Texas Advocates for Justice has helped us bridge the educational divide and meet others in our position.   What are your challenges with home confinement and ankle monitoring?

Two Brown Girls

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