September 24, 2020
"We don't need to give them sympathy, but we need to give them a second chance."
It has been a truly different experience interviewing people these past few days. it has been a. mostly saddening experience because after talking with these people, the issue of the lack of resources available for people post-in incarceration has become highlighted, and stated, and stressed over and over again.
We sat down with a young lady who is currently interning at Magdalene Serenity house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. this house serves as a transitional housing program where the woman stays for two years. while there, women are equipped with the tools they will for readjusting back into society, such as job training, resume building, interview training, group therapy, counseling, and a gym membership. It was incredible to hear all about how this house serves women so wonderfully and supportively, but they are only able to house around 8 women at a time and the application process isn't easy due to high demand.
Next, we spoke to Daniel Field, a public defender in Washington county. he was very insightful and gave us some opinions based on what he had seen and experienced in the criminal justice system. He seemed out of answers for us when we asked about resources in Fayetteville, which led me to believe there probably aren't that many reliable ones. He couldn't name a program that was doing something right. Yet, he also was. unaware of the Magdalene Serenity house. Daniel spoke about the pressure to get into a transitional home, and if you don't, then you end up homeless or in a bad living situation, which only makes getting a job harder, which prevents you from completing parole. it seems like a ruthless cycle that would be hard to get out of if you immediately don't receive support or resources upon leaving incarceration.