Going to prison is not the end of these women’s compelling stories.

“I want people to open their eyes. We are people, too. We were born into society and we belong in society. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

Jackie is a formerly incarcerated woman. I met her and other women like her as a volunteer with LEAP. The organization provides 300 hours over eight months of in-prison rehabilitation for women in Miami. Jackie served two and a half years for drug trafficking, a crime that she says she didn’t have a part in other than being in wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong man. In going to prison, she had lost everything that had made up her life.

The women I met are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. Any one of them could be my neighbor, my cousin, my coworker or my friend. So many of them had been victims of sexual and physical trauma when they were young.

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