LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than a dozen people gathered inside the Capitol on Monday for the Future For Felons rally to protest changes to the nation’s prison system.
Ruby Carter-Welch, of Little Rock, was one of the many speakers who shared her personal story of life after prison.
“That is who I was but it isn’t who I am today,” says Welch.
Welch, a former Arkansas Department of Correction inmate, was incarcerated for 30 years for having less than 12 grams of cocaine. She says there should be more done to help educate those leaving the prison system to ensure they don’t return.
“When you do incarcerate people you have to have something for them to come home to,” explains Welch. “Because how can you call your facility a correctional facility when nothing is being addressed as the correction.”
Several people shared their concerns regarding the treatment they receive while incarcerated and their concerns surrounded medical and mental health issues going unnoticed and untreated.
Welch, who now works with several of these inmates hopes to help change the public views on those behind bars.
“Not everyone behind bars is bad, some just had a bad start,” explains Welch. “We need to learn how to lift one other up because let’s be honest we all have made mistakes in our day.”
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