Trauma

Join us for a VIRTUAL Day of Empathy

It has been a difficult few weeks full of changes and challenges for all of us, We want to send our best wishes to you, your friends, and to your family during these trying times. One helpful things to do during a crisis is to keep connected and maintain a sense purpose. That’s why we’re [...]

Breaking the cycle of trauma and prison

(Please note: the following blog post contains the reflections of formerly incarcerated people in their own words, and it covers material that is emotionally sensitive such as rape and gun violence.)   Daniel Jones’ life changed forever when his parents separated when he was just a young boy. Up to then, he felt secure and [...]

Day of Empathy 2020: What Can It Mean for You?

I walked into my first Day of Empathy event nearly four years ago feeling terrified, socially averse and embarrassed. I was ashamed and had been shamed. I had only recently completed my three years of incarceration and a bit more than two years of parole and probation. The memory of being paraded, in a bright [...]

Holding families together when they’re “Locked Out”

When someone is sentenced to prison, they aren’t the only one doing hard time. The people who wait for them at home — their friends, their family, their loved ones — also experience the hardships of incarceration. That’s the message behind the film “Locked Out,” created through the hard work of Citizens for Prison Reform [...]

2020-02-12T12:17:17-05:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Prison programs, Sentencing, Trauma|

The power of story

We held a meeting with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness at the Heartside of Michigan United Way in Grand Rapids and each of our meeting guests took a few minutes to tell their stories. There was a 25-year-old young woman who had been in and out of prison on drug charges, and now needed to [...]

2019-04-04T16:38:29-04:00April 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Reentry, Trauma|

Supporting veterans by ensuring their needs are met in the justice system

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, but when that day falls on a weekend, as it does in 2018, the federal holiday is also observed in a weekday, which is why Veterans Day is being observed on Nov. 12 this year. Safe & Just Michigan honors the spirit and sacrifice of all the people who wore [...]

2018-11-10T19:39:45-05:00November 11th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Courts, Mental health, Sentencing, Trauma|

Safe & Just Michigan’s Annual Meeting focuses on moving hearts and minds

Solving the problem of how to get more people to get on board with criminal justice reform was the theme of the night at Safe & Just Michigan’s Annual Membership Meeting and dinner, held Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing. The event, attended by nearly 200 people, featured speakers Leon El-Alamin from [...]

2018-10-24T10:40:51-04:00October 24th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Elderly, Lifers, Parole, Sentencing, Trauma|

Only one was sentenced, but a whole Michigan family does time in “The Sentence,” a documentary on HBO

Rudy Valdez didn’t intend to create an award-winning documentary when he picked up a camera and started filming his niece preparing for her first dance recital. All he wanted to do was capture the moment for the girl’s mother — Rudy’s older sister, Cindy Shank — who had just been sentenced to 15 years in [...]

2018-10-12T16:01:17-04:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Sentencing, Trauma|

Detroit Community Meeting – Sharing stories, planning for the future

September brought great legislative advancements to the cause of criminal justice reform in Michigan, such as the passage of objective parole, the governor’s decision to ban the box on state job applications and movement toward raising the age for 17-year-olds charged with crimes. Those topics were covered at the most recent Detroit Community Meeting held [...]

2018-10-04T16:15:24-04:00October 4th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Crime survivors, Reentry, Trauma|

Parental incarceration: The impact on families and children

This Father’s Day weekend will not be a celebration for every child in Michigan – thousands of children will spend Father’s Day far from their incarcerated fathers. Men comprise about 95 percent of Michigan’s nearly 40,000 incarcerated population. Incarceration creates hardships to maintain family connections. People are often incarcerated far from home making family visits [...]