It’s a bleak picture of American justice.
That’s why a prison re-entry plan conceived by — and for — Indiana women is such a breath of fresh air.
Vanessa Thompson was incarcerated in the oldest women’s prison in the country when she had what writer Eli Hager of The Marshall Project calls “her eureka moment.”
Watching the news in her cell, she heard a mayoral candidate in Indianapolis describe 10,000 abandoned houses and lots. As Hager describes:
What if, she thought, people reentering society from prison helped rebuild those homes, and then, after putting in several thousand hours of construction work, got to live in one? This would also help solve a second intractable social problem: the lack of housing for ex-offenders, which had helped send so many women she knew back to jail.
“It’s a double restoration — not just of the house, but of the person,” Thompson, now 44, said in a recent …
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