Monday, May 16, 2022

Charlotte Austin's story of freedom after 20 years in prison--a sweet success

After being released from prison in Wisconsin after 20 years, Charlotte was accepted in a Chicago transitional program, North Lawndale Employment Network, NLEN, which helps the formerly incarcerated adjust and join society, then a position with Sweet Beginnings  and BeeLove, which sells products made from honey.  You can read her story here:     
and here,

Charlotte: And then, working with people that walk the same steps I walked. Amazing. I don’t judge them. If they laugh, I laugh with them. If they cry, I cry with them. They got something going on, talk to me because I know how it is. I’m not finna judge you because you went to prison or you had this. I went to prison too!

Alice: Right. Right. And you’re very open about the fact that you have a criminal background. Why is that?

Charlotte: It make me feel free. If I hold it in, and somebody else – somebody need to hear my story. Somebody out there need to hear my story. So by me telling my story – yeah, I did twenty years straight, I was on drugs, I was a prostitute, I used to do this, I used to do that, I’m still on ten years paper, and it’s sad to say prison saved me. ‘Cause I could’ve been dead. I think I could’ve been dead."

A TED talk film about BeeLove and NLEN.

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