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Prisons: Ex-Inmate Exposes Humanitarian Crisis

America's prison system cries out for reform and former inmate, now reform advocate Amanda Hall reveals on the Justice Counts podcast her experiences behind bars and offers recommendations for making changes that would help reduce repeated criminal behavior and recidivism.

Having experienced incarceration on drug charges, a time that forged her determination to help make improvements by ending mass incarceration and to creating a better world in its place, Hall currently is the Campaign Director at JUSTICE and is working to end what she calls a "humanitarian crisis" in our prisons.

Before joining JUSTICE, Amanda was a Policy Strategist at the ACLU of Kentucky. She was a leader of Kentucky Smart on Crime, a broad-based coalition working for common-sense justice reforms that enhance public safety, strengthen communities, and promote cost effective sentencing alternatives.

Prior to policy work, Amanda served as program director of The Healing Place for Women in Louisville, KY.

Released from prison with her criminal record expunged by the governor, Amanda was able to attend the University of Louisville, from which she graduated with a Masters degree in Social Work.

Here are questions we discussed with her:

MARK: Does an incarcerated person automatically receive help with addiction and treatment, or does it depend on where you are or what you request it?

BOB: What about gender differences and medical treatment, do women in prison receive the care that is necessary or appropriate for their gender?

MARK: A prisoner is serving his or her time. What steps are taken to in prison and during the release process to help a prisoner re-integrate into society?

BOB: Is that a universal process? Are prisoners everywhere offered the same assistance for reentry to society? If not, what are some of the differences?

MARK: Are there any statistics about whether prisoner are more successful upon reentry if they have received assistance than those who have not?

BOB: Are there differences in this reentry process for men and women? Are women treated differently in and out of prison?

MARK: You have faced this process yourself, obviously. What are some of the injustices or discrimination you have faced when trying to reintegrate into society?

BOB: What are the injustices faced by former inmates that you are most focused on and why?

MARK: What can the average person, those who have not experienced prison or been involved with the system do to help alleviate discrimination?

Editor's Note:

If you haven’t done so already, please check out Mark Bello’s ripped-from-the-headlines legal thrillers, all available online at Amazon and other major online booksellers. He has quite the hero in Attorney Zachary Blake, who fights for justice on all fronts. His books are Betrayal of Faith, Betrayal of Justice, Betrayal in Blue, Betrayal in Black, Betrayal High, Supreme Betrayal, Betrayal at the Border, You Have the Right to Remain Silent and his latest, and his latest, “The Final Steps – A Harbor Springs Cozy Legal Mystery. Also, he’s written a wonderful children’s book about bullying, “Happy Jack, Sad Jack.” For more info, just check Listen to the podcast:

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