Name: Pauline Rogers
What city and state do you live in?: Jackson, Mississippi
How did you get involved in the work?: To help individuals and families impacted by crime and incarceration. I operate an organization, Reaching and Educating for Community Hope (RECH) Foundation, using the acronyms RECH, pronounced Reach, is a not-for-profit organization, co-founded by me and my husband, also formerly incarcerated. We provide transitional housing to women coming home from prison. The RECH Foundation was officially registered as a non-profit organization in 2006, however, has been operating since 1987, out of our passion, driven by our combined 19-years of incarceration over 30-years ago. I witnessed firsthand the injustices, abuse, neglect, inhumane living, and disparities in sentencing, the judicial process, and the red tape barriers to reentry after prison. I am one of them who fights for, and with them.
What made you want to join CLI?: To become better informed, more equipped, to learn how to be the best strategist and organize to be the most effective Leader in doing the work of Criminal Justice Reform, legislation, advocacy. activism, and reentry.
What has been the most valuable thing so far about being a part of CLI?: The relationships I have established, and the networks built.
What do you wish people knew about women who are incarcerated/formerly incarcerated/their families?: That women incarcerated/formerly incarcerated women are no different than any other woman in the context of women. We have the same emotions and feelings, family issues like other families. We deserve respect and treatment as other women, we made mistakes that were criminally classified, resulting in criminal consequences upheld in a court of law.
Who is your biggest supporter?: My Husband
What is your favorite form of self-care?: Praying, reading, singing, music, sleeping, relaxing-doing nothing.
Anything else you would like to share?: I could never erase the experience of prison and set out to do, something. I left prison on December 4th, December 5th, I was back at the prison as a volunteer and over 30-years later, I still visit the prison. While in prison, I was the lead person to work alongside the Chaplain to get a Chapel built to conduct religious services because there was no separate location for Church services. Thus advocacy stayed with me while there and long after I left.