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Becoming Ms. Burton

Becoming Ms. Burton Cover

Becoming Ms. Burton

From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women

By Susan Burton; Cari Lynn; Michelle Alexander (Introduction by)

New Press, Hardcover, 9781620972120, 228pp.

Publication Date: May 9, 2017

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Description
One woman's remarkable odyssey from tragedy to prison to recovery--and recognition as a leading figure in the national justice reform movement

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.



About the Author
Susan Burton is the founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, a nonprofit that provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women. She is nationally known as an advocate for restoring basic civil and human rights to those who have served time. Burton was a winner of AARP's prestigious Purpose Prize and has been a Starbucks(R) "Upstander," a CNN Top 10 Hero, a Soros Justice Fellow, and a Women's Policy Institute Fellow at the California Wellness Foundation, and she is the co-author, with Cari Lynn, of Becoming Ms. Burton (The New Press). She lives in Los Angeles.


NPR
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For Susan Burton, getting on track after being released from prison was a daunting experience. Now she's determined to help other women follow in her footsteps. Her new memoir is Becoming Ms. Burton. More at NPR.org

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