Tracy, who served 24 years, waiting for a meeting with her counselor. Brooklyn, NY (2014)
Tracy, who served 24 years, waiting for a meeting with her counselor. Brooklyn, NY (2014)

“I have to go to three state-mandated programs. I like my individual counselor but all those programs is a lot of time. I feel most of it is a waste.”

Tracy six months after her release. East Harlem, NY (2014)
Tracy six months after her release. East Harlem, NY (2014)

“This is my third home in six months. I was at Providence House [a halfway house]. But my time was up after four months and I ended up at a three-quarter house. It was horrible. Then the uncle of my grand-children, not related to me, took me in.”

 Tracy on the night shift at Burger King on 42nd Street. New York City (2014)
Tracy on the night shift at Burger King on 42nd Street. New York City (2014)

“I was glad to get the graveyard shift because it makes it easier for me to get to my programs without being late to work. Being late to work means I could lose my job. Being late to program means I could go back to prison. This way I won’t be late.”

Tracy with her grandson, Joshia. (Bergenfield, NJ 2015)
Tracy with her grandson, Joshia. (Bergenfield, NJ 2015)
Tracy working as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. New York City (2014)
Tracy working as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. New York City (2014)

“First, Salvation Army told me I could have this job. Then they called me and told me they did a background check and said I couldn’t have it after all. I asked them when will I get my second chance. If they won’t give me a job, who will? So then they said I could have the job.”

Tracy living back in the three-quarter house for a few months before she moved to a friend’s apartment. Bronx, NY (2015)
Tracy living back in the three-quarter house for a few months before she moved to a friend’s apartment. Bronx, NY (2015)

“The hardest part out here is the housing. A lot of places don’t take public assistance and rent is just so expensive.”

 Tracy at Mount Olive Baptist Church. Englewood, NJ (2015)
Tracy at Mount Olive Baptist Church. Englewood, NJ (2015)
Evelyn, who served 17 years, with the son of her domestic partner. Long Island City, NY (2014)
Evelyn, who served 17 years, with the son of her domestic partner. Long Island City, NY (2014)

“I met my partner when I’d only been home for a few days. She has three kids and me not having kids, I became close to the kids and that was an extra.”

Evelyn at work in a corporate cafe several months before her promotion to sous chef. New York City (2014)
Evelyn at work in a corporate cafe several months before her promotion to sous chef. New York City (2014)

“When I came home, I got a grant and went to a culinary program. My dream job is to work for a nice restaurant. ‘Evelyn, Sous Chef.’ Or to have my own food truck — Spanish food. I cook like my grandma. That’s the best instructor you can have. Everything she cooked was natural.”

Evelyn waiting for the bus. Flushing, NY (2014)
Evelyn waiting for the bus. Flushing, NY (2014)

“I leave home at five thirty in the morning. I had to get an exception from my parole officer because I’m supposed to be home from ten at night until seven in the morning. If I want to leave the five boroughs, I have to get a travel pass. I have to report every four months—come in after work, wait to be called, hand them my urine, pay my fee. It’s $30 a month. I’m free, but I’m not full free.”

Evelyn with Sister Elaine Roulet, a nun who worked in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Brooklyn, NY (2015)
Evelyn with Sister Elaine Roulet, a nun who worked in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Brooklyn, NY (2015)

“I met Sister Elaine in Bedford. I was in facility maintenance and if she needed something done, I was there. I was always happy to do it. She was always encouraging me. She was like a mother figure to a lot of us in prison.”

Evelyn moving to her second home in four months after she and her domestic partner broke up. Astoria, NY (2015)
Evelyn moving to her second home in four months after she and her domestic partner broke up. Astoria, NY (2015)
Evelyn at home. Flushing, NY (2015)
Evelyn at home. Flushing, NY (2015)

“I share this house with six other women. I’m in a good room. I can look out my window and I’m at peace. But I’m looking forward to the day when I have my own apartment and I’m saving as much as I can.”

Evelyn, the only woman member of a baseball team which frequents her cafe. East River Park, New York City (2015)
Evelyn, the only woman member of a baseball team which frequents her cafe. East River Park, New York City (2015)
Carol, who served 35 years, one year after her release with Darjay and her honorary grandchild Cecil (right), both almost three years old. Long Island City, NY (2014)
Carol, who served 35 years, one year after her release with Darjay and her honorary grandchild Cecil (right), both almost three years old. Long Island City, NY (2014)

“I’ve always loved kids. They’re so innocent and full of joy. In prison, I wasn’t allowed to work on the nursery because I had a violent crime. Now it’s my chance.”

Carol working as a volunteer at Hour Children. Long Island City, NY (2014)
Carol working as a volunteer at Hour Children. Long Island City, NY (2014)

“I volunteer to say thank you for taking me in. If it weren’t for Hour Children, I would have ended up in a homeless shelter."

Communal dinner in Carol’s transitional housing. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Communal dinner in Carol’s transitional housing. Long Island City, NY (2015)

“Each one of us takes a turn cooking. We cook what we want, depending on what’s available in the freezer. We each put in $100 worth of food a month. We’re cooking for about 12.”

Carol in her bedroom. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol in her bedroom. Long Island City, NY (2015)

“I don’t know why they finally gave me parole on my sixth try. I had a good record. Maybe it’s because I’d had two heart attacks and I was expensive. You can’t make up for 35 years. The world is different; I’m different. I wasn’t going to do a ‘catch-up.’ How do you catch up for 35 years?”

Carol in the TV room with some of the other residents of her home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol in the TV room with some of the other residents of her home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
 Carol on her way to her cardiologist’s office. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol on her way to her cardiologist’s office. Long Island City, NY (2015)

“I don’t go out much. I work across the street from where I live. I go to the doctor or do a little shopping. Sometimes I go out with a friend. It might not sound like much, but I’m free.”

 Carol with her friends Kelly (left) and Tina, after being admitted for treatment for heart disease. Mount Sinai Hospital, Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol with her friends Kelly (left) and Tina, after being admitted for treatment for heart disease. Mount Sinai Hospital, Long Island City, NY (2015)

“My last three years in prison I spent on the RMU [Regional Medical Unit]. It’s like a mini hospital, but it’s really isolating. It’s worse than solitary. No one can visit you because everyone’s in their programs during scheduled visiting hours.”

Keila, three-and-a-half weeks after her release, on the subway for the first time in over 20 years. New York City (2014)
Keila, three-and-a-half weeks after her release, on the subway for the first time in over 20 years. New York City (2014)
 Keila living in her cousin’s home after her release from prison. Long Island, New York (2014)
Keila living in her cousin’s home after her release from prison. Long Island, New York (2014)

“My dad bought me this softball glove when I joined the prison team. He died while I was in there. Two officers transported me to the funeral home. I was in cuffs for twenty hours. He was the man I loved the most in this whole world. It just went all wrong. They made it worse.”

Keila two days after moving from her cousin’s home in Long Island to transitional housing. Astoria, NY (2014)
Keila two days after moving from her cousin’s home in Long Island to transitional housing. Astoria, NY (2014)

“My reentry is starting now. I don’t regret spending the summer with my family but they weren’t equipped for how I was feeling. They didn’t get the anxiety, that I was sad — you’re free, you’re home, move on.”

Keila speaking to the Board of Directors of Healing Communities Network at their meeting in the offices of the law firm Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett. New York City (2014)
Keila speaking to the Board of Directors of Healing Communities Network at their meeting in the offices of the law firm Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett. New York City (2014)

“I got to tell my story to people who are important in the community and who are in a position to help people who are still in prison. I want the women who are still inside to have support.”

Keila and her girlfriend, Tiffany, at their home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Keila and her girlfriend, Tiffany, at their home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Keila at a religious retreat with other former prisoners. Brooklyn, NY (2015)
Keila at a religious retreat with other former prisoners. Brooklyn, NY (2015)
 Keila after work on the one-year anniversary of her release from prison. New York City (2015)
Keila after work on the one-year anniversary of her release from prison. New York City (2015)

"This year went fast. I’m not quite where I want to be but I’m in a good place. I’m going to be ok.”

Tracy, who served 24 years, waiting for a meeting with her counselor. Brooklyn, NY (2014)
Tracy six months after her release. East Harlem, NY (2014)
 Tracy on the night shift at Burger King on 42nd Street. New York City (2014)
Tracy with her grandson, Joshia. (Bergenfield, NJ 2015)
Tracy working as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. New York City (2014)
Tracy living back in the three-quarter house for a few months before she moved to a friend’s apartment. Bronx, NY (2015)
 Tracy at Mount Olive Baptist Church. Englewood, NJ (2015)
Evelyn, who served 17 years, with the son of her domestic partner. Long Island City, NY (2014)
Evelyn at work in a corporate cafe several months before her promotion to sous chef. New York City (2014)
Evelyn waiting for the bus. Flushing, NY (2014)
Evelyn with Sister Elaine Roulet, a nun who worked in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Brooklyn, NY (2015)
Evelyn moving to her second home in four months after she and her domestic partner broke up. Astoria, NY (2015)
Evelyn at home. Flushing, NY (2015)
Evelyn, the only woman member of a baseball team which frequents her cafe. East River Park, New York City (2015)
Carol, who served 35 years, one year after her release with Darjay and her honorary grandchild Cecil (right), both almost three years old. Long Island City, NY (2014)
Carol working as a volunteer at Hour Children. Long Island City, NY (2014)
Communal dinner in Carol’s transitional housing. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol in her bedroom. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol in the TV room with some of the other residents of her home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
 Carol on her way to her cardiologist’s office. Long Island City, NY (2015)
 Carol with her friends Kelly (left) and Tina, after being admitted for treatment for heart disease. Mount Sinai Hospital, Long Island City, NY (2015)
Keila, three-and-a-half weeks after her release, on the subway for the first time in over 20 years. New York City (2014)
 Keila living in her cousin’s home after her release from prison. Long Island, New York (2014)
Keila two days after moving from her cousin’s home in Long Island to transitional housing. Astoria, NY (2014)
Keila speaking to the Board of Directors of Healing Communities Network at their meeting in the offices of the law firm Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett. New York City (2014)
Keila and her girlfriend, Tiffany, at their home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Keila at a religious retreat with other former prisoners. Brooklyn, NY (2015)
 Keila after work on the one-year anniversary of her release from prison. New York City (2015)
Tracy, who served 24 years, waiting for a meeting with her counselor. Brooklyn, NY (2014)

“I have to go to three state-mandated programs. I like my individual counselor but all those programs is a lot of time. I feel most of it is a waste.”

Tracy six months after her release. East Harlem, NY (2014)

“This is my third home in six months. I was at Providence House [a halfway house]. But my time was up after four months and I ended up at a three-quarter house. It was horrible. Then the uncle of my grand-children, not related to me, took me in.”

Tracy on the night shift at Burger King on 42nd Street. New York City (2014)

“I was glad to get the graveyard shift because it makes it easier for me to get to my programs without being late to work. Being late to work means I could lose my job. Being late to program means I could go back to prison. This way I won’t be late.”

Tracy with her grandson, Joshia. (Bergenfield, NJ 2015)
Tracy working as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. New York City (2014)

“First, Salvation Army told me I could have this job. Then they called me and told me they did a background check and said I couldn’t have it after all. I asked them when will I get my second chance. If they won’t give me a job, who will? So then they said I could have the job.”

Tracy living back in the three-quarter house for a few months before she moved to a friend’s apartment. Bronx, NY (2015)

“The hardest part out here is the housing. A lot of places don’t take public assistance and rent is just so expensive.”

Tracy at Mount Olive Baptist Church. Englewood, NJ (2015)
Evelyn, who served 17 years, with the son of her domestic partner. Long Island City, NY (2014)

“I met my partner when I’d only been home for a few days. She has three kids and me not having kids, I became close to the kids and that was an extra.”

Evelyn at work in a corporate cafe several months before her promotion to sous chef. New York City (2014)

“When I came home, I got a grant and went to a culinary program. My dream job is to work for a nice restaurant. ‘Evelyn, Sous Chef.’ Or to have my own food truck — Spanish food. I cook like my grandma. That’s the best instructor you can have. Everything she cooked was natural.”

Evelyn waiting for the bus. Flushing, NY (2014)

“I leave home at five thirty in the morning. I had to get an exception from my parole officer because I’m supposed to be home from ten at night until seven in the morning. If I want to leave the five boroughs, I have to get a travel pass. I have to report every four months—come in after work, wait to be called, hand them my urine, pay my fee. It’s $30 a month. I’m free, but I’m not full free.”

Evelyn with Sister Elaine Roulet, a nun who worked in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Brooklyn, NY (2015)

“I met Sister Elaine in Bedford. I was in facility maintenance and if she needed something done, I was there. I was always happy to do it. She was always encouraging me. She was like a mother figure to a lot of us in prison.”

Evelyn moving to her second home in four months after she and her domestic partner broke up. Astoria, NY (2015)
Evelyn at home. Flushing, NY (2015)

“I share this house with six other women. I’m in a good room. I can look out my window and I’m at peace. But I’m looking forward to the day when I have my own apartment and I’m saving as much as I can.”

Evelyn, the only woman member of a baseball team which frequents her cafe. East River Park, New York City (2015)
Carol, who served 35 years, one year after her release with Darjay and her honorary grandchild Cecil (right), both almost three years old. Long Island City, NY (2014)

“I’ve always loved kids. They’re so innocent and full of joy. In prison, I wasn’t allowed to work on the nursery because I had a violent crime. Now it’s my chance.”

Carol working as a volunteer at Hour Children. Long Island City, NY (2014)

“I volunteer to say thank you for taking me in. If it weren’t for Hour Children, I would have ended up in a homeless shelter."

Communal dinner in Carol’s transitional housing. Long Island City, NY (2015)

“Each one of us takes a turn cooking. We cook what we want, depending on what’s available in the freezer. We each put in $100 worth of food a month. We’re cooking for about 12.”

Carol in her bedroom. Long Island City, NY (2015)

“I don’t know why they finally gave me parole on my sixth try. I had a good record. Maybe it’s because I’d had two heart attacks and I was expensive. You can’t make up for 35 years. The world is different; I’m different. I wasn’t going to do a ‘catch-up.’ How do you catch up for 35 years?”

Carol in the TV room with some of the other residents of her home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Carol on her way to her cardiologist’s office. Long Island City, NY (2015)

“I don’t go out much. I work across the street from where I live. I go to the doctor or do a little shopping. Sometimes I go out with a friend. It might not sound like much, but I’m free.”

Carol with her friends Kelly (left) and Tina, after being admitted for treatment for heart disease. Mount Sinai Hospital, Long Island City, NY (2015)

“My last three years in prison I spent on the RMU [Regional Medical Unit]. It’s like a mini hospital, but it’s really isolating. It’s worse than solitary. No one can visit you because everyone’s in their programs during scheduled visiting hours.”

Keila, three-and-a-half weeks after her release, on the subway for the first time in over 20 years. New York City (2014)
Keila living in her cousin’s home after her release from prison. Long Island, New York (2014)

“My dad bought me this softball glove when I joined the prison team. He died while I was in there. Two officers transported me to the funeral home. I was in cuffs for twenty hours. He was the man I loved the most in this whole world. It just went all wrong. They made it worse.”

Keila two days after moving from her cousin’s home in Long Island to transitional housing. Astoria, NY (2014)

“My reentry is starting now. I don’t regret spending the summer with my family but they weren’t equipped for how I was feeling. They didn’t get the anxiety, that I was sad — you’re free, you’re home, move on.”

Keila speaking to the Board of Directors of Healing Communities Network at their meeting in the offices of the law firm Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett. New York City (2014)

“I got to tell my story to people who are important in the community and who are in a position to help people who are still in prison. I want the women who are still inside to have support.”

Keila and her girlfriend, Tiffany, at their home. Long Island City, NY (2015)
Keila at a religious retreat with other former prisoners. Brooklyn, NY (2015)
Keila after work on the one-year anniversary of her release from prison. New York City (2015)

"This year went fast. I’m not quite where I want to be but I’m in a good place. I’m going to be ok.”

show thumbnails