For life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Expungement News!

I was excited to read today about how the State of Wisconsin is going to look at its expungement laws and how changing them will affect the lives of those with criminal records.  This may be a great step forward for our state! I hope that decision-makers can keep their eyes on what is truly important - the fact that when one has served his/her time, there should no longer be things standing in the way of him/her moving their lives forward in a productive way. My fear is that decision-makers are going to focus too much on how the courts might get bogged down with this rather than actually think outside the box and simplify the whole process. Crossing my fingers for good news...

More about what Wisconsin is doing can be found here:
or the press release: 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mental Health and Violence

So frustrating watching the media and others blow mental health issues out of proportion and also mislead the general public. Most people with mental health disorders are not violent people. In fact, says that "The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population."

Let's work together to break the stigma of mental health. Let's make sure we are doing all we can to be healthy ourselves, and to educate others about the realities of living with a mental health disorder.

I recently finished Keith O'Neil's book, Under My Helmet. A great read and a great way to get started on this issue!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

What Are You Doing?

Greetings! It's fall and fall symbolizes a time for change. So thinking about change, wanted to put out the question, what are you doing?

What are you thinking about and what changes do you need to make in your life to take it to the next level? Do you need to start doing something or stop doing something that is affecting your success or productivity? Today is a great day to take inventory. You could start by making a list of what is working in your life right now. Then take a moment to celebrate your successes! Yes, do it!! You deserve to feel good about what is working well in your life. Then, make a list of what is not working so well. Beside each one, write a possible change or solution to that concern. But don't stop there, now figure out how to implement that change. Seek help or an accountability partner if you need to and don't stop working on the concern until you are satisfied with the change you have made.

We all need to take inventory from time to time. Life is a work in progress and each one of us is either moving forward or staying stuck where we are. Don't stay stuck. Don't settle. Keep working every day to become a better you. You deserve it and so do the ones you love!!  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Great Read - a True Story That Offers Hope

I got a copy of Shaka Senghor's book, Writing my Wrongs, for Christmas. I just could not put it down! What an amazing and insightful story of his journey into the drug trade, incarceration, faith, hope, and redemption.  I highly recommend reading his book, listening to his Ted Talk, and going to his website to learn more. 

Helping Others

Sometimes the realities of dealing with a loved one who is incarcerated or watching what is happening to those around us can be overwhelming. There are many organizations out there who can offer help and hope. The internet is full of resources, as well as local non-profits and faith-based organizations.  Reach out today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Better Way to Fight Recidivism

Set a man up for a modicum of success, and he might just make a better life for himself.

As many as two-thirds of the 650,000 inmates released from prisons and jails in the United States each year will be re-arrested within three years. America Works is trying to change that.

A new report from the Manhattan Institute looks at AW’s successful approach, which centers around providing more “enhanced job-readiness training and job-search assistance” to nonviolent offenders than the typical re-entry program does. If the welfare-reform successes of the ’90s taught us anything, it’s that the best welfare program is a job. By rapidly attaching such offenders to work, AW aims to minimize the chance that they’ll re-offend later.

As the report puts it:  America Works is condensed into an intense one- or two-week period. It uses a tough-love approach, stressing interpersonal communication and such “soft” skills as time and anger management. It places special attention on teaching practical skills that many former inmates never acquired, such as résumé preparation, search strategies, and interview techniques. And it uses a network of employers, who are open to hiring ex-offenders and with whom it has long-term relationships, to place clients. Its goal is not only to help former inmates find jobs but also to keep jobs, and it provides follow-up services for six months. In 2005, the program provided job-readiness classes to 1,000 ex-offenders, placing 700 in jobs.

— Kathryn Jean Lopez - senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review Online, and founding director of Catholic Voices USA.