ICYMI: Voices of Reentry Webinar Series


June 1, 2022 | by Jerome Palliser

Recordings now available for the Voices of Reentry webinar series

Access Living friends and allies,

We are super excited to share about the Voices of Reentry Project with you today! 

First, a quick reminder: Tomorrow from 5:30-7 pm, join us for “Transporting Everything We Need: Town Hall on Emergency Services.” This is a virtual event that will take place on Zoom. Register for the Zoom link here.

Access Living’s Voices of Reentry webinars are now live for on-demand viewing

What is Voices of Reentry? As we know from our years of serving all kinds of people with disabilities, we know that many of our community members have been justice-involved and struggle to build their lives in the community after coming out of jail or prison. In April 2022, Access Living hosted three webinars centered on sharing the experiences of formerly incarcerated people with different kinds of disabilities. Each webinar featured a topic presentation, a storytelling video, and a panel of experts with lived experience. Their stories are raw, personal, and compelling.

View the Voices of Reentry webinar series at any time! Each webinar is captioned in English.

More about the webinars:

Session One: Criminalizing Disability

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.

Session Two: Disabled and Incarcerated

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.

Session Three: Resisting and Persisting

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.

Acknowledgements: We thank all of our storytellers and guest panelists for what they have taught us about the need for change. We also thank 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.

For more information about our work on diversion and reentry, please contact Christopher Huff, Access Living’s Policy Analyst for Diversion and Reentry at chuff@accessliving.org or (312) 640-2131. Please share these great learning opportunities far and wide!