I went to pick my son up from school and walked him back and was in the house preparing dinner, and he came in the house and gave me this flower of chrysanthemum that was full of ants. And he went back out to play and ran out into the street and got hit by a car. The car happened to be driven by a LAPD detective.
A New Way of Life is a safe house that women can come to after they're released from prison in South Los Angeles. It's a place for women to detox the trauma, the torture of incarceration, be welcomed and embraced and live and begin their new path to - if it's recovery or receiving mental health services, go back to school, get their children back.
I knew hundreds and hundreds of women like me, who had traveled in and out of prison in a revolving door. They needed support and help just like I had received. And it could make a difference, just like it had made a difference in my life. I wanted to see them come back to the community and have a chance at a different life, too.
It has to be about more than punishment. We need to rehabilitate people. We lock up far too many people in America today. We lock them up as if locking them up is gonna solve the problem. And locking them up does not solve the problem. Did locking me up make me better? No, it did not. It made my struggle harder.