Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women

by Susan Burton

Other authorsMichelle Alexander (Introduction)
Hardcover, 2017

Status

Available

Publication

The New Press (2017), 228 pages

Description

"Susan Burton's world changed in an instant when her five-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan self-medicated, becoming addicted first to cocaine, then crack. As a resident of South Los Angeles, a black community under siege in the War on Drugs, it was but a matter of time before Susan was arrested. She cycled in and out of prison for over fifteen years; never was she offered therapy or treatment for addiction. On her own, she eventually found a private drug rehabilitation facility. Once clean, Susan dedicated her life to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that supply a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children--setting them on the track to education and employment rather than returns to prison. Becoming Ms. Burton not only humanizes the deleterious impact of mass incarceration, it also points the way to the kind of structural and policy changes that will offer formerly incarcerated people the possibility of a life of meaning and dignity.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member The_Hibernator
In Becoming Ms. Burton, Ms. Burton describes her difficulties of being young in a poor black neighborhood. There was the ever-constant worry of someone being shot or addicted to drugs. Of children being killed by police (as hers was). Of the trials of being addicted to drugs and being in and out of prison. Then she had a turn-around. She went to rehab and AA, and got a wonderful sponsor. She learned how to live sober – away from the family and neighborhood where she had always lived. She then realized how hard it is to become a functional member of society while an ex-felon. It’s hard to find a home, a job, to be treated like a human being. So she started a home for people just coming out of prison. Despite her lack of education on the topic of business, her home thrived and she helped many people to reintegrate into society. It’s a sad story as well as an uplifting one. I really loved hearing about her story, and think everyone should read books like this to help them understand that felons aren’t inherently evil – people just view them that way.… (more)

Language

Original language

English

Physical description

228 p.; 5.5 inches

ISBN

1620972123 / 9781620972120

Local notes

autobiography
Page: 0.1675 seconds