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DAY 1 of $30,000 in 10 Days: Hear Lisa’s Truth


Lisa
Program graduate
Incarcerated almost 6 years over 2 sentences
Free since June 2015

Describe your life today.

I am married to a wonderful man. I’ve recently started my own T-shirt business: Her Dreams T-Shirt Designs. And I am a trained volunteer facilitator for Truth Be Told!

What are you most proud of since you’ve been free?

I am most proud of being able to support my grandkids, my son and my family by being available and free!

How does your past incarceration still affect your life today — negatively and/or positively?

My past incarceration affects my life in a positive way because I am motivated to give back. I use my past experience to help other women like me and to shine light on what needs to change. On International Women’s Day, my sister and I joined a group of formerly incarcerated women, and we marched to the Texas Capitol to support several bills that would help women in the criminal justice system. For me personally, I marched for the implementation of more programs within the prison system to help incarcerated women upon their release to aid them in truly succeeding.

What Truth Be Told program did you experience while incarcerated, and what did you gain from that experience?

I took Talk to Me Writing, Talk to Me Speaking and Talk to Me Movement. I gained wisdom of myself and what really led me to prison other than my crime. We are incarcerated sometimes not only physically, but mentally. I never would have realized that my drinking is what led me to do the things I had done or make the decisions I had made until I took Talk to Me.

What keeps me free today is taking one day at a time, staying involved, making sure that I know what my triggers are, and reaching out to my safe community that Truth Be Told has set there for me.

How does Truth Be Told continue to influence your life?

Truth Be Told continues to influence my life through my volunteering and holding community with others by sharing my story.

Returning to the prison to train and facilitate in the Talk to Me Writing program was so surreal for me. I didn’t see myself returning to prison for any reason! All I knew is I never wanted to return! However, I felt the need to give back to the women who are still incarcerated. I have a bucket of knowledge and tools from being a graduate of Truth Be Told, so I want to be a force — a poster child, if you will — a catalyst for the women to see that there is hope after incarceration!

I feel a full range of emotions when I’m part of the facilitator team: happy, excited, proud, sad, anxious, motivating, honored. What I’ve noticed about my own growth/healing in becoming a Talk to Me facilitator is that I’m still growing. I’m still healing. I have not fully arrived; however, I’m very thankful I’m not where I used to be in terms of my growth and healing. I trusted the process! I’m accomplishing my goals and seeing my dreams come true. I remain free because of Truth Be Told and because of me.

Why is Truth Be Told important and worth supporting?

Truth Be Told is important and worth supporting because it’s allowing me — and women like me — to remain free. It’s healing. It causes me not to disappoint because I have other women looking up to me now saying, “I can do it too!”

Describe the women you met in prison.

The women I met in prison were lost, confused and searching for understanding. They were mothers, daughters and sisters who had been through some scary stuff.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the correctional system, what would you change and why?

There are so many things I would change! But one thing I would change about the correctional system has already been changed — HB 650, which was signed into law this past session. It provides better care for incarcerated women who are pregnant, but it also provides free feminine hygiene products for indigent women and better access to sanitary pads and tampons for all female inmates.

Favorite prison recipe?

Ramen noodles mixed with cheese and Spam.

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Honor Lisa by helping Truth Be Told raise $30,000 in 10 Days between September 16-25. All gifts made during this 10-day campaign will DOUBLE in size, thanks to a matching pledge of up to $30,000! Your gift will ensure that Truth Be Told continues to provide safe community and healing programs to nearly 1,000 justice-involved women every year! Click on $30,000 in 10 Days to make your gift today!

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