AK DOC Reentry

In it together…writings from the inside out

A few weeks ago DC Casto toured a not-for-profit work release center for women located in Indianapolis, Indiana. One program they have adapted for the women of Craine House is a class modeled on the national Inside-Out Prison Exchange program from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This version of the program is a partnership between university students and the women living at Craine House to discuss readings that focus on issues of poverty, social policy, drug use, abuse and a myriad of factors that impact the lives of incarcerated women. The next step was having the women construct stories of their lives, showing the events, trauma and misfortunes that led to the criminal justice system. Ultimately, the power of writing their personal stories, helped transform these women into strong, determine and productive citizens. I share with you my favorite poem from the book In it together…writings from the inside out.

Mirror, Mirror…

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Take her away, I don’t like her at all

Take away the bruised and broken girl I used to see

Bring back the other girl, that’s the real me

I like the girl with the smile and bright eyes

I like the me that doesn’t hurt inside

For the first time in a long time I saw her today

I had to smile back and ask her to stay
She looked determined, not defeated and frail

She looked so strong, not weak and pale

Mirror, mirror keep her around

She is not lost, she has been found

    ~Ashley, 2013