Angel describes the "lightbulb moment" when she realized everything had to change - and the long road to achieving change. After a police raid on her home with her child present, she was ready to build a new life, but first she had to get through a prison sentence.
On Sunday, October 29th, 2017, nine individuals told their stories in a performance titled: Shaping a Future: Life After Prison. The performance was the culmination of writing workshops sponsored by the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
The project was conceived of and organized by writing teacher, Carol Imani. The performance was held at the First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland and was directed by Chris Karczmar.
Each of the awe-inspiring participants read a monologue they wrote over the course of the workshops, they told stories of redemption, grit and determination centering around their reentry to society after time spent in prison.
The monologues were broadcast in a series of three shows by the Portland radio station KBOO. With kind permission of KBOO, we are sharing their broadcasts here. This show is part two of the series and features a monologue and interview with Dawn. Dawn's monologue begins at five minutes, 22 seconds.
To hear this program at the KBOO website, click here. The show was hosted by Amy Johnson and produced by KBOO for Prison Pipeline.
April describes her experience of parenting from prison and the pain of separation from her children while incarcerated. She talks about the challenges of rebuilding her life after incarceration and her thoughts on what our community needs to do to make things better for people reentering society.
Karen grew up in Eugene, Oregon, with parents who were violent to one another and with a mother who abused alcohol. She spent time in foster care and a girls' home and started using drugs including heroin as a teenager. Addiction and bad relationships eventually led her to burglarizing homes for which she is now serving time in Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon.
Janny's story: how an Oregon woman who had never been in trouble with the law before found herself being sentenced as a repeat property offender under Measure 57. Janny Sumnall is serving nearly a decade at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for her role in a series of burglaries of empty homes. She became involved in the crimes as a result of her relationship with her partner who was violent toward her.