Formerly Incarcerated Woman Strives to Become an Attorney and Fight for Criminal Justice Reform

Posted Oct. 19, 2016

MP3 Interview with Arlinda Tray Johns, former inmate and organizer with with the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

reform

On Sept. 23, the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls held a conference, titled, “Real Women, Real Voices” at Yale University Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. Panelists included women who had served years in state and federal prisons, many for non-violent drug-related offenses. Two of the panels featured remote interviews with women who were still incarcerated. Family members of individuals who had been, or are still imprisoned participated as well.

Several of the speakers were women who had recently been pardoned by President Obama in a White House initiative that has commuted or reduced the sentences of more than 700 individuals convicted of drug-related, non-violent offenses.

One of the women speaking at the conference was Arlinda Tray Johns, who goes by the name “Tray.” She described how, as a young woman with responsibility for raising her sibling’s seven children, plus a child of her own, she was convicted on drug sales charges and writing a bad check for the purchase of school supplies. Tray served eight years in prison. Since her release, she’s been working with the Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls and plans to attend law school with the goal of advocating for criminal justice reform. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Johns about her experience in the criminal justice system and her plans for the future.

For more information, visit National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls at thecouncil.us.

Related Links:





Subscribe and get Between The Lines' Weekly Summary in your inbox!