Reentry

William Bennett

A note to our readers: this is part 3 of our series on reentry. The names of formerly incarcerated men and their families in this story have been changed to protect their identities.

It’s a long drive from Oakland to the Deuel Vocational Institution, a prison in Tracy, California. For Brianna Bennett, growing up, that meant she rarely saw her father, William. He had never picked her up from school or gone with her to a movie. In fact, they had never stepped outside of the prison gates together.

www.prisonerswithchildren.org

In 1969, Dorsey Nunn was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man. After serving 12 years of his sentence, Nunn was paroled in 1981. Back on the outside, he realized there was very little help for him or people like him to make new lives. He took matters into his own hands and started working with other formerly incarcerated people to address issues of employment, education, and voting rights. 

Your Call: How do you re-enter society after prison?

Oct 23, 2014
Ruth Morgan, "The Welcome Home Project"

 

  

On the October 23rd, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll hear stories of people who turned their lives around after over a decade in prison or jail.  Two thirds of people released from California's prison system will return within 3 years. What obstacles prevent people from getting out and staying out?  How does incarceration impact families, especially children?  What kind of support do formerly incarcerated adults want?  It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.  

Guests:

Photo by California Energy Commission

Arthur Streeter is taking me to meet an inmate who’s going to be released from jail today.

“So we’re going to pick him up and get something to eat,” Streeter tells me, “and then we’re going to go to an emergency shelter that he’ll stay at at International and East Oakland.”

He’s talking about Hayden Hindenburg, who’s been incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail for the last six months. Streeter is the program director for Operation My Hometown, and his job is to help Hindenburg get a good start outside prison walls.

Luisa Beck

A note to our readers: the names of formerly incarcerated men and their families in this story have been changed to protect their identities.

 

“My whole life, I never had a job.”

At the age of 51, William Bennett was one of the oldest people in California who could claim that. But in June 2013, eight months after leaving prison, that was about to change.

“Either Monday or Tuesday I’ll be working on the freeways,” he said. “580 or 880. Picking up trash. First job ever.”

Ashleyanne Krigbaum

Alton McSween found employment after his release mentoring other formerly incarcerated people through the California Reentry Institute. McSween goes by the name “Coach” -- a throwback to his days coaching high school track. That was his job back in 1992 when he got his first two convictions for burglary. In 2001, he was arrested for petty theft, and got 25 years to life under the state’s three strikes law.

Reentry: Two men seek homes after prison release

Aug 6, 2014
Luisa Beck

A note to our readers: the names of formerly incarcerated men and their families in this story have been changed to protect their identities.

It’s hard to tell how old William Bennett and his friend John Porter are based on looks. Bennett is about six feet tall, wears a silver ear stud, and has a signature cologne: Gypsy Musk. Porter is a little shorter. He has big eyes, a small gap in his upper teeth, and a huge friendly grin. Both of them have a determined and yet playful air about them. When they show me the kitchen they share with 12 other guys, they start the kind of banter that only two trusted friends can get away with.