Becoming Ms. Burton : from prison to recovery to leading the fight for incarcerated women /

by Burton, Susan (Founder of A New way of life (Organization)) [author.]; Lynn, Cari [author.]; Alexander, Michelle [writer of foreword.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York ; New Press, 2017.Description: xxiii, 304 pages ; 22 cm.ISBN: 9781620972120; 1620972123.Other title: Becoming Miss Burton.Subject(s): Burton, Susan (Founder of A New way of life (Organization)) | Women ex-convicts -- United States -- Biography | Women prisoners -- United States -- Biography | African American women social reformers -- United States -- Biography | Abused women -- United States -- Biography | Women drug addicts -- United States -- Biography | Abused women -- United States -- Biography | Autobiographies | Autobiographies
Contents:
Foreword / Michelle Alexander -- Part I: Sue -- Now what? -- Land of opportunity -- Daddy's girl -- Hit the road -- The sacrifice -- Things you don't talk about -- The life -- From the skillet to the frying pan -- No justice, no peace -- A new drug -- Incarceration nation -- Collateral damage -- The revolving door -- The vicious cycle -- Hurt people -- A tale of two systems -- A way out -- Finding purpose -- Part II: Ms. Burton -- A new way of life -- The wall of no -- Who's profiting from our pain? -- Women and prison -- A kindred spirit -- Taking food off the table -- Broke leg house -- From trash to treasure -- All of us or none -- Treating the symptoms and the disease -- The meaning of life -- The women from Orange County -- Being beholden -- Living an impossible life -- The house that discrimination built -- Women organizing for justice and opportunity -- What would Ms. Sybil Brand think? -- Without representation -- Prop 47 -- The movement -- The arc bends toward justice.
Summary: "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.
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Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult NonFiction 303.484 BUR Available 39270003918038

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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 on their street in South Los Angeles. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan self-medicated, becoming addicted first to cocaine, then crack. As a resident of South L.A., an impoverished black community under siege by the War on Drugs, it was but a matter of time before Susan was arrested. She cycled in and out of prison for 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. She began by greeting women as they took their first steps of freedom, welcoming them into her home, providing a space of safety and community. Her organization, A New Way of Life, now

Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-304).

Foreword / Michelle Alexander -- Part I: Sue -- Now what? -- Land of opportunity -- Daddy's girl -- Hit the road -- The sacrifice -- Things you don't talk about -- The life -- From the skillet to the frying pan -- No justice, no peace -- A new drug -- Incarceration nation -- Collateral damage -- The revolving door -- The vicious cycle -- Hurt people -- A tale of two systems -- A way out -- Finding purpose -- Part II: Ms. Burton -- A new way of life -- The wall of no -- Who's profiting from our pain? -- Women and prison -- A kindred spirit -- Taking food off the table -- Broke leg house -- From trash to treasure -- All of us or none -- Treating the symptoms and the disease -- The meaning of life -- The women from Orange County -- Being beholden -- Living an impossible life -- The house that discrimination built -- Women organizing for justice and opportunity -- What would Ms. Sybil Brand think? -- Without representation -- Prop 47 -- The movement -- The arc bends toward justice.

"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.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword (p. xi)
  • Prologue (p. xix)
  • Part I Sue
  • 1 Now What? (p. 3)
  • 2 Land of Opportunity (p. 8)
  • 3 Daddy's Girl (p. 14)
  • 4 Hit the Road (p. 19)
  • 5 The Sacrifice (p. 26)
  • 6 Things You Don't Talk About (p. 34)
  • 7 The Life (p. 46)
  • 8 From the Skillet to the Frying Pan (p. 54)
  • 9 No Justice, No Peace (p. 62)
  • 10 A New Drug (p. 69)
  • 11 Incarceration Nation (p. 75)
  • 12 Collateral Damage
  • 13 The Revolving Door (p. 94)
  • 14 The Vicious Cycle (p. 99)
  • 15 Hurt People (p. 107)
  • 16 A Tale of Two Systems (p. 115)
  • 17 A Way Out (p. 127)
  • 18 Finding Purpose (p. 134)
  • Part II Ms. Burton
  • 19 A New Way of Life (p. 143)
  • 20 The Wall of No (p. 153)
  • 21 Who's Profiting from Our Pain? (p. 159)
  • 22 Women and Prison (p. 170)
  • 23 A Kindred Spirit (p. 177)
  • 24 Taking Food off the Table (p. 181)
  • 25 Broke Leg House (p. 185)
  • 26 From Trash, to Treasure (p. 193)
  • 27 All of Us or None (p. 200)
  • 28 Treating the Symptoms and the Disease (p. 206)
  • 29 The Meaning of Life (p. 216)
  • 30 The Women from Orange County (p. 222)
  • 31 Being Beholden (p. 226)
  • 32 Living an Impossible Life (p. 233)
  • 33 The House That Discrimination Built (p. 241)
  • 34 Women Organizing for Justice and Opportunity (p. 245)
  • 35 What Would Ms. Sybil Brand Think? (p. 255)
  • 36 Without Representation (p. 260)
  • 37 Prop 47 (p. 264)
  • 38 The Movement (p. 273)
  • 39 The Arc Bends Toward Justice (p. 276)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 283)
  • Further Reading (p. 287)
  • Suggested Resources (p. 289)
  • Notes (p. 291)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this memoir, Burton explores her life inside and outside of prison, along with the varied experiences that led her down that path. The author reflects on situations that directly affected her personal and professional life, such as being forced to return to unhealthy relationships upon reentering society because of the difficulty in securing a steady job and housing with a criminal record. She also examines these issues in a broader context; for example, how the lack of employment and housing opportunities increases the odds of a person returning to prison. More importantly, she writes about ways to change these societal issues, including her founding of the Los Angeles-based organization A New Way of Life. Prison reform is an important and timely issue, and stories such as these emphasize the personal aspect of this complex issue while offering statistics for a fuller perspective. VERDICT More than just a memoir, this account provides an intimate glimpse into the problems that plague the U.S. prison system. Also recommended for those interested in prison reform and the race, gender, and socioeconomic issues relating to criminal justice.-Sonnet Ireland, St. Tammany Parish P.L., Mandeville, LA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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