Policy Analyst – Diversion and Reentry
Originally recorded: April 2022
In April 2022, Access Living hosted three webinars centered on sharing the experiences of formerly incarcerated people with different kinds of disabilities. Each webinar features a topic presentation, a storytelling video, and a panel of experts with lived experience. Access Living thanks our Voices of Reentry series coordinators, Maya Goldman and Lucy Trieshmann, as well as our videographer, Lowell Thomas. The webinars were completed with the support of the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge.
The first webinar in our three-part series “Voices of Reentry,” this session examines a foundational introduction to disability, explore the ways in which people get caught up in jails and prisons because their disabilities are criminalized, and set the stage for our next two sessions. We hear from formerly incarcerated people with disabilities about their experiences with police, prosecutors, and poverty as driving forces of incarceration. We also have a panel discussion on these issues and why time is of the essence to create change.
The second session of our series addresses the issues disabled people face while incarcerated. We hear stories from formerly incarcerated disabled people themselves on topics including lack of adequate healthcare and confiscation of necessary assistive devices. This session’s panel similarly addresses the root of these issues, as well as how we can begin to seek change.
Wrapping up our series, “Resisting and Persisting” highlights both the radical vulnerability and immovable resilience of disabled people. We focus on how the process of reentry never truly ends, and the compounded stigma and discrimination formerly incarcerated disabled people face on the outside. To end our session, we offer words of hope from project participants and their dreams for the future.
For more information about our work on diversion and reentry, please contact Christopher Huff.