Becoming Ms. Burton by Susan Burton
From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women

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A dramatic, honest, moving narrative of how hard life can get and how one can still overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity to do good in the world.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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 Susan Burton

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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® “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.
 
Published May 9, 2017 by The New Press. 228 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 02 2017

A dramatic, honest, moving narrative of how hard life can get and how one can still overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity to do good in the world.

Read Full Review of Becoming Ms. Burton: From Pri... | See more reviews from Kirkus

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