Being Out of Prison

Joanne Archibald

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI:
Being Out of Prison

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In this chapter, the author, a former prisoner, recognizes that as a mother and a person trying to remake her life, she is “paying and paying and paying,” financially, emotionally, professionally, years later—“still paying for those ten months” inside. When she got out of prison, she had a lot of debts, deferred school loans that she had to pay. It took a long time to deal with the impact on her son and on their relationship. It has taken years and a lot of counseling—time and energy—to fix the relationship with her son and for him to feel good about himself. The author still has as part of her self-identity that she is a convicted felon, and that is never going to go away. But she also credits her hard experience with waking her up to “politics,” and to the way the world works. She no longer relies on the mass media or on others to explain things, to fix things. Now the author is an activist in Chicago who invites other formerly incarcerated women and allies to do important work with her.

Keywords: Chicago; activist; prison; son; relationship; counseling; politics; incarcerated women

Chapter.  1683 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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