Santa Fe New Mexican

Andrea James is the founder of Families for Justice as Healing and the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. For many years she was a criminal defense attorney working in the Boston area with low-income and disenfranchised clients. Then in 2009 she found herself in federal prison serving a two-year sentence, after which she wrote the book, Upper Bunkies Unite: and Other Thoughts on the Politics of Mass Incarceration.
She speaks to us about her first-hand experience of the humanitarian abuses, loss of human potential, trauma, and irreparable damage to families and communities caused by the the current system of incarceration — and she talks about paths toward substantive change.