Beth’s story shows the full potential that people in the criminal justice system can have for change when they are given a chance to succeed. Her experience is unique but not uncommon, and her resilience is a powerful testament to how our reforms can build safe and healthy communities.
Together with Beth and hundreds of other supporters across Oregon, we continue to advance solutions to crime that promote families, prevention, and healing over incarceration.
Will you join us? Invest in a safer and stronger Oregon by making a gift right now.
This past spring, my oldest daughter learned that she was accepted to Stanford University. It was one of the most joyous moments of my life. She had turned her dream into a reality, and I had just been reunited with her and my other children after months of being in and out of jail.
My life experience is shared by thousands of women in Oregon. As a young woman, I got caught up in a cycle of abusive relationships and addiction.
By the time I was 30, I was in survival mode. In my addiction, I made poor choices and ended up in a situation that felt bigger than me. It was this painful cycle that eventually led to my incarceration and tore me away from my children and community.
I don’t make excuses for myself. I’m sober now, and as a part of my recovery, I’m taking responsibility for the harm that I’ve caused. This is something I work on every day. At the same time, my recovery also involves learning to accept the parts of my past where I was a victim of abuse and addiction. The bottom line was that I needed help.
Thanks to Partnership for Safety and Justice, I was able to get that help and participate in a diversion program that provides treatment and support.
It’s because of Partnership for Safety and Justice that these programs are offered to parents like me in Oregon. I could have been sent away to prison for 30 months and lost my four children. Instead, I received community supervision and treatment to battle my addiction.
Today, I’m 20 months clean. I’m healthy, in a loving relationship, and my life is back on track. And most importantly, I get to be a mom again. I’m there for my children and able to celebrate important milestones in their lives like my daughter getting into Stanford.
I feel lucky to have had the treatment and services I needed to restore my life. But I’m not so different from other women I got to know in jail. Many of these women have children and families who love them, and they want more than anything to have their lives back. Like all of us, these women need safety and support as they try to cope with the most difficult and painful times of their lives.
Partnership for Safety and Justice elevates the needs and experiences of these women. They make sure that everyone’s voices are heard so that people who have made mistakes can make things right, hurt people can heal, families can be strong, and communities can be safe.