[BONUS] 24. Rest in Power: Sue Ellen Allen, Advocate to the End

Rest in Power: Sue Ellen Allen, Advocate to the End

With Guests:

Sue Ellen Allen, founder and executive director of Reinventing Reentry. A University of Texas grad, educator, community leader, former inmate at Arizona State Prison and current activist, she found her purpose from serving time in prison. She is the author of The Slumber Party from Hell, a memoir about prison life, and the recipient of the Dawson Prize in Memoir in the 2009 Prison Writing Contest for PEN American Center.

Read the touching tribute to Sue Ellen’s life, written by long-time friend, Dr. Michele Goodwin.

Listen, Rate, Review and subscribe on:

In this Episode:

In this episode, we remember our friend and advocate for women in prison, Sue Ellen Allen, who died this week on February 24, 2021.  In the latter part of her life, she became an internationally renowned advocate for incarcerated women and girls.  She championed banning the box, promoting reentry, and protecting the integrity and dignity of people tethered to the criminal justice system. She was a reformer.  She spoke with tremendous grace and power about being formerly incarcerated.

Take a listen as we revisit Sue Ellen Allen’s final interview—a wide-ranging and intimate conversation with her long-time friend, Michele Goodwin.

Rest in power, Sue Ellen.

Have something to share? Drop us a line at ontheissues@msmagazine.com.

Additional Reading

Sue Ellen in Her Own Words

Michele Goodwin

In this episode, you will hear from a very special guest. I’m joined by Sue Ellen Allen. She is the founder and executive director of Reinventing Reentry. She is the author of The Slumber Party from Hell, a memoir about prison life. The book received the 2009 Dawson Prize in Memoir in the Prison Writing Contest for PEN America.

We dedicate this show to Sue Ellen Allen and her work on prison reform and reentry.  Sue Ellen is in hospice care right now and we were able to tape with her late in December, shortly before Christmas.  We begin this episode with our conversation.  

I first met Sue Ellen Allen in 2014. In doing research for me, a resourceful research assistant came across an op-ed that Sue Ellen had published. It described her time in a women’s prison in Arizona and the harsh conditions under which she survived breast cancer while incarcerated. Memorable for me was how she described having her breasts “chopped off” while shackled and chained—that’s the way she described it. I knew then that I wanted to meet her. We became friends.

Sue Ellen Allen

We’ve been a lot of places together, haven’t we girlfriend?

Michele Goodwin

We have been a lot of places together. Yes, we have. From Washington D.C. up at the nation’s capital…

Sue Ellen Allen 

From the Press Club in Washington to the White House. You name it, we’ve been there together.

Michele Goodwin

We have been there together. So, you did travel so much, you became a teacher, you graduated from the University of Texas. Many people who would see images of you now, they would say that that’s the epitome of at a certain point what defined an image of Republican woman: the pearls, the beautifully coiffed hair, from Texas…

Sue Ellen Allen

Yup, that’s right.

Michele Goodwin

But there’s been a journey. And at a certain point, in terms of what led to your incarceration, before you were incarcerated, your mother decided that maybe something else should happen. What did your mother decide?

Sue Ellen Allen

Well, my mother, we were—are you talking about when we were indicted?

Michele Goodwin

Yeah, exactly. And your mother said I can do one thing or the other. We can either—

Sue Ellen Allen

Yes, “I can. I can pay for lawyer’s fees. Or we can go and live quietly in Europe somewhere. But we can’t do both.” And David and I had been indicted for securities fraud. And I thought, you know … I couldn’t stop shaking. Michele, you’re a lawyer, you know how that is. I couldn’t stop shaking. And I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat. And I’d lost about 25 pounds or 20 pounds, maybe—every woman’s dream, but not that way. And I just thought, if I could just sleep for just a little bit, maybe four or five months, we could come back and we could fight this thing. 

Mother didn’t want to do that.  Mother wanted to leave and be gone. And so we did.  We went to Portugal: David, my mother and I.  And you haven’t lived until you have been on the lam with your 85-year-old mother and her 14 pieces of luggage and her little portable sewing machine that she’d had since 1948.  No, that’s not true, it was 1950.  And we had that little sewing machine that she took everywhere because my mother was a beautiful seamstress. She knew how to make anything. And so we decided, at that point in our life, we were going to go live in Portugal and that was in 19–. No, that was 2000. No, it was 199-. Well, it doesn’t matter. Who cares what the time was? We left the country. And I thought well, if I could just sleep, we would come back and it would be all right. But, it wasn’t all right. 

Michele Goodwin

It wasn’t all right. And you and your husband David turned yourselves in?

Sue Ellen Allen

Yeah. We did.

Michele Goodwin

Yeah, and came back to the United States. And then this is another phase in your life where your life really changed. What was that experience like, being incarcerated and you had just been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Sue Ellen Allen

The breast cancer was a sort of a shock.  I jogged three miles a day for, I don’t know, 10 or 15 years, it seemed like forever, but who knows? I had never smoked. I drank minimally. I was a cheap drunk, I always said, because I couldn’t handle it. And I just was very, very surprised to find myself suddenly as a privileged white woman, like back to that, in [former Maricopa County Sheriff] Joe Arpaio’s jail. I mean, heavens, I never even thought about something like that.

Michele Goodwin

So what was that experience like? If you could tell us a bit about making that decision, going through that surgery while incarcerated? What was that like? And how did the women respond to you to try to help you out?

Sue Ellen Allen

You know, Michele, when you lose your hair. I don’t know if you know how many billions of dollars it is in hair care products that we have in America, but it’s billions and billions of dollars in hair care products that we have. And, so, when you think about losing your hair, it is a pretty big, momentous thing. Except I have to just get back here, ladies and gentlemen, if you could see both of us, neither one of us has a head full of hair. Michele, because she’s a tall, six-foot Black goddess who can go without hair and looks fabulous. And me because I’m a little, old short white lady who has shaved her head since she lost it for, you know, for breast cancer.

But here’s the thing, you lose your hair, and you lose your breast, and who are you? I didn’t know who I was anymore. I thought “I’ve lost my hair. I’ve lost my breast. What’s left of me?” And most importantly, I had lost my freedom. My freedom.

And I found out through losing your freedom and losing your breast and losing everything, your hair. You’re still you. You’re still you.



Michele Goodwin

Did the women that you were incarcerated with, did they help you understand you’re still you? What did they do to try to help you out? Or did you find support? Because you know, again, you came from this Texas background with a mother and father who took you around the world and whatnot. And now here you are in Sheriff Arpaio’s prison in Arizona.  What were you expecting of the other incarcerated women? And what was the reality?

Sue Ellen Allen

Oh, Michele, I didn’t have any expectations whatsoever. I didn’t know what to expect. I honestly had no idea what to expect. And what I found was women who had lost everything still managed to be the most generous people I have ever known in my life, ever. They were extraordinary women, and they still are. The women that are in prison are extraordinary women. They have been through more violence than I could ever imagine, in my life.  They’ve been through more abuse. They’re just extraordinary.

And at some point—because this is gonna be I don’t know if this is going to be on Zoom, but I’ll get the pictures for you. Because I do have pictures of how we could, you know, show those pictures of the pillow?  The pillow story. And because it’s an extraordinary story.

Michele Goodwin

What is the pillow story? So you had the operation and the path to the operation when I first read about it before I even knew you, but had been sent this article by one of my students was stunning to me.  We were researching and tracking cases of women who were shackled during their pregnancy and delivery, which is now illegal in federal prisons and jails, but was still happening then.  And [it] was happening at the state level. And so, this student who came across—Ally Whelan, who’s wonderful, give a shout out to her—this article she sent to me and said “Professor Goodwin, you ought to see this.” And right after reading that article, I said, “Let’s get her contact information I need to talk with Sue Ellen Allen.  So, tell us about that, Sue Ellen, the shackling experience and the pillow.”

Sue Ellen Allen

I went, I’ve got I wish I could share my screen because I have it on my screen, but I don’t know how to do that.

Michele Goodwin

I’ll get a photo.

The pillow itself reflected something very special for Sue Ellen. And of course, for the women who had made it. (Courtesy of Sue Ellen Allen)

Sue Ellen Allen

And I, when I had my mastectomy, I came back from the prison. I mean, back from the, the, the hospital, I came back from the hospital and there was an order at the jail in the medical department saying, “Do not ever cuff or shackle this woman’s right arm because she’s in high risk of lymphedema.”

They didn’t know what lymphedema was, but it means I’ve lost 28 lymph nodes on this side, on my right arm, and I could get lymphedema when your arm swells up like an elephant, and it never goes away. And the pain is pretty extraordinary. And so, I went through that.  And they refused to listen, they insisted on shackling.

And I was in the middle of it. It was the middle of [the night], like two or three o’clock in the morning and they were handcuffing me and shackling me to go back to the, to the jail, where was I going? I was going to court.

You get out in the hallway to go onto the bus to go down to the courthouse from the jail. And they line you up three women to a thing, and they shackle and handcuff you. And I gave him my permit, and I said, “Please, this is my permit not to shackle my right arm,” and he shoved it back in my face. And he said, “You forged that.” 

I had the most extraordinary expression on my face. I mean, I’m not speechless very much, but I was pretty speechless. I said, “I didn’t even have a pen. How can I forge such a thing?” Well, I couldn’t, but he could or anybody could.  I didn’t forge it. And it was with a red pen, by the way that they said I had forged it, right? It’s not even possible.

But they refused to listen. And so that as a tear was running down my face, he was grabbing my wrist really hard. And I said, “You could be gentle.” And he said, “I am being gentle. You’re not lying on the ground bleeding.” And then he didn’t say it in quite that nice a tone—I mean, it was really harsh. And the tears just were coming down my eyes. I just couldn’t believe a human being could think that way. You know, but that’s not. But Michele, that’s an example of systemic racism: He didn’t see me as an old white lady with breast cancer. He saw me as an inmate with a number. And inmates with numbers are historically Black. And that’s what I deserved. And so that’s what he saw. And everything was symbolic of the person that was there being handcuffed and shackled.

Michele Goodwin

And, you wrote about the shackling, while having your breasts cut off? Yeah, what you talked about the breast chopped off while being shackled—as if you could run someplace, like that the indignity like kind of extra-legal shaming, stereotyping, stigmatizing, dehumanization, that’s located in doing that, as if a woman whose breasts are being removed, could possibly get up and run away. So, let’s just do this extra to let you know that we think so little of you.

Sue Ellen Allen

I don’t know who thinks of stuff like that. It’s the same thing with shackling women when they’re on maternity, when they’re getting ready to have their baby, and they’re, “Oh, well, let’s shackle them and because, you know, they might want to”—excuse me, I’ve just got to have a little water here—”we’ve got to humiliate them a little more more, because they’re gonna have a baby here and sure they can run somewhere.”

Michele Goodwin

Exactly. And when you got back then for recovery, there are certain protocols. And this is important because this connects to how you met Gina and co-founded Gina’s Team and even though reentry work that you do now, because when you got back then to the jail to prison, there was a protocol, a health protocol that was supposed to be followed. What was supposed to be done in your case?

Sue Ellen Allen

No shackling.  And they wanted a pillow to cushion my arm because they had to have it to protect my arm from lymphedema. Well, no pillows allowed.  That order was denied to the medical department.  The sheriff said no, they, were not gonna let me. I couldn’t have a pillow.

Michele Goodwin

After stage three breast cancer.

Sue Ellen Allen

After stage 3B cancer and a mastectomy, radical mastectomy. And the women left my cell and came back about three hours later and they said, “Close your eyes, Sue Ellen, and hold out your hands.”  And I did and when I did, I felt the softest, most incredible thing.  And I opened my eyes and it was a pillow. And I thought what in the world?  And I’m looking at this pillow that is, if you look at it and you see it, you realize it’s made out of maternity Kotex, the Kotex that women are issued in the jail or in maybe a hospital. I don’t know.

Sue Ellen Allen holds a Kotex pillow during a TEDx talk in 2016. (Screenshot)

Michele Goodwin

Now, at this time in our conversation, we needed to take a little bit of a break because the nurse had come in to provide medication for Sue Ellen. And being as feisty as she is, she was also reaching for her computer because she wanted to make sure that I had an image of the pillow.

Now, I had seen the pillow up close and in person, as Sue Ellen knew. I’d seen it in her apartment. And we had taken it together when we visited juvenile detention centers that house girls and also at the prison where Sue Ellen had been incarcerated.

The pillow itself reflected something very special for Sue Ellen. And of course, for the women who had made it: It was a sign of love and respect and care. And for the women who made it, it was a sense of solidarity that even if there is medical neglect behind bars, and women are denied what it is that they need, that these women would stick together. So, let’s return to the conversation that I had with Sue Ellen.

Sue Ellen Allen

You see these women, they gave up their hard-pressed issue—what they were given for periods. And they put them all together and they took one of these pads and they shredded it.  And, so they shredded it so they would have these like ribbons. And then they wove the pads together into this woven-looking little padded pillow thing. They took their golf pencil…their utility functional golf pencil that they were allowed to write letters with. I still have a little callus on my finger ten years later—from no it’s been 20 years later—from writing with a golf pencil. And they wove these little ribbons in and out to keep the pillow sturdy, to keep it from falling apart, shredding, if you will. And then they tied the little bows at all the corners so that it would say together. And it’s a very fragile, delicate thing.

Michele Goodwin

It’s delicate, but it’s absolutely lovely. And, one wonders, Sue Ellen, with the way in which they made this so beautifully …

Sue Ellen Allen

Well, I said, at the darkest time, I said at the darkest time of my life that the drug addicts and the murderers and the thieves looked after me.  And I will never forget, you know, I’m one of them. I’m a sister in orange. And I can never forget these women.  And they fringed it.  They fringed it to give it that designer look. But they were not designers, you know, in their own right. I mean, they were, they were designers in their own right, a different kind of designer.



Michele Goodwin

But, I also wonder…what’s interesting is the polar opposite.

So, on one hand, you had a system that wanted to dehumanize you. I mean, you were already paying the social price: The social price was supposed to be you losing your freedom. But on top of it, the extra-legal was: We will shackle you.  We will keep you in a holding cell with roaches and mice running through out and you don’t even know when the operation is going to take place. We will not allow anybody to be there to provide support for you. These are all of the extra-legal ways unnecessarily because you’re already locked up, you’re already away from society and everything. But, here’s the extra-legal thing that we’re going to do to you to really stick it to you.

And yet on the other hand, here it is that you have these women who take what for them is a precious resource and they transform it—not just to anything that’s just utilitarian—right? Because they could have just bunched it together, and said, “Here’s something for you put your arm on, you know, lady.”  But instead, they saw you.  You hadn’t been there for years with them; you had just gotten there. And somehow right away these women who, as you say, the murderers, the drug addicts, you know, the sex workers, were like, We see you we recognize your humanity. And we will make this pretty for you. To help you, right?

Sue Ellen Allen

That’s exactly right. And how extraordinary is that? At the darkest time of their life as well, they found a way to be loving and generous in ways that often privileged women don’t even associate with such a thing.

Michele Goodwin

Exactly. And had you had any prior experience with a population like this, the women who actually came to your aid?  So, they saw you … these Black and Brown women and other women who have various life experiences, even though you were the “redhead with pearls” kind of background of a woman, they said, “You know what? We see the humanity in you.”

Sue Ellen Allen

“She’s one of us.” They welcomed me in and made me part of them and I will never forget that.

Michele Goodwin

So, who is Gina? Because you know how we found each other and began working together before working together on Reinventing Reentry, we were working together at Gina’s Team. Who was Gina in your life?

Sue Ellen Allen

Gina was… she was one of my first cellmates. She wasn’t my first but she was one of my firsts. This darling young girl. Twenty-five years old. And she started walking the track with me. And I thought, “Why does this 25-year-old want to spend time with me at such an age?” I just didn’t understand it.

Gina Marie Panetta. (Gina’s Team)

Michele Goodwin

So, Gina began walking track with you. And you wonder “Why is this 25-year-old trying to hang out with me?” How old were you at that time, Sue Ellen?

Sue Ellen Allen

I was 57. And I thought, “why in the world is she wanting to hang out with me?” I asked her that. And she said, “I could learn a lot from you, Sue Ellen.” And I thought, wow. She said, “do you mind?” I said “no.” I said, “I probably could learn a lot from you too.”

Michele Goodwin

And you grew close together. She became your cellmate.

Sue Ellen Allen

She became my cellmate and my caregiver and when I started going in for chemo, And I went in for chemo and then I went in for radiation. And I was so sick, so sick. And just recently I started radiation again, which is interesting. So, you know, I’ve ended up with the same disease that Gina had that killed Gina in prison.

Michele Goodwin

Well, let’s talk about that. Because in part that also brought us together, your story and Gina’s story. What happened to Gina, Sue Ellen?

Sue Ellen Allen

Gina collapsed one day.  And, we took her to medical.  And at the medical [infirmary] she said, “My head,” she said, “My head feels like it’s going to explode off my body.”  And, they said, “Yeah, yeah, you’ve got migraines, come back in two weeks and if you’re still sick, we’ll believe you.”  And they wouldn’t give her a blood test. They wouldn’t do anything for her.

Two weeks later, we took her back because she couldn’t walk, she could hardly walk. And she said, “My ears and my gums are bleeding.” And they said “Well, you have gingivitis, brush your teeth, and drink more water.” And, but no blood test. And then finally in another two weeks…she’d now lost about 25 pounds, but maybe not 25, 15 pounds. And they she said “I can’t swallow jello; my throat feels like I was swallowing ground glass.”  And so they said, “Oh, well you have strep throat, then here’s some antibiotics.”  But, they wouldn’t give her any blood test. And her parents called and asked for a blood test and they wouldn’t give it to her either. And so she was really, really sick. I’ve never seen anybody in so much pain before. She was in excruciating pain.

Michele Goodwin

And it seems if I recall correctly, that in the advocacy on her behalf, it wasn’t well received. What was the atmosphere when you tried to advocate for her? Wasn’t it kind of threats to you and other women just in trying to advocate for Gina?

Sue Ellen Allen

Yeah, it was insulting that we were trying to help her and they weren’t allowing it in any way. So yeah, it was the same song, different verse.

Michele Goodwin

Right. Right. Right. And, and what happened on the day in which she finally got some care. What happened?

Sue Ellen Allen

Well, they finally took her to the hospital. And her parents, they, the doctors were furious at her parents. And they said, “What is wrong with your daughter? Why hasn’t she gotten a blood test?” They did blood tests, and her white blood count was 300,000. And her red blood count was zero. She had myeloid leukemia.

Michele Goodwin

Look at that. That had been undiagnosed.

Sue Ellen Allen

Undiagnosed. Her body was shutting down, Michele. Her body was shutting down. This is America. This is a first-world country. This is not a third-world country.

Michele Goodwin

And so Gina, within just a matter of days, what happened after?

Sue Ellen Allen

She went into a coma and she was dead in 36 hours.

Michele Goodwin

Look at that. So she was dead within 36 hours.

Gina Marie Panetta at 10 years old. (Gina’s Team)

Sue Ellen Allen

This is a 25-year-old girl who should be sitting here where I am. She should be alive. And Gina had every reason to live and every purpose to live. And when they came back and told us that she had died of leukemia. I was speechless. And I painstakingly wrote every single thing that had happened down that I can think of. It was a 10-page, front and back letter that I had handwritten. By then I had a Bic pen, not a little golf pencil.

And I was so afraid that they would go through my mail and find it that I hand-copied it over again. So two, 20-page documents, and I hid one of them really carefully and the other one I sent out in the mail hoping that it would get to her parents. And it did get to her parents. And they eventually did sue the state and they won their lawsuit, which was a great blessing. But it didn’t save Gina’s life.

Michele Goodwin

No, it didn’t save her life and it didn’t save her kid’s life because, as I’ll share with the audience, I was giving a talk, sometime later. By this point, you and I had already become sisters. We had already become fast, fast friends and working together on Gina’s Team, which you co-founded when you were released. You co-founded this organization to help lift up girls and women who were incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. And I was giving a talk at Northeastern Law School, in fact. I was scheduled to give a talk and I got a call from you at about two in the morning. And Sue Ellen, and do you remember what you were calling to tell me?

Sue Ellen Allen

I had just found out that Gina’s oldest daughter had killed herself, had shot herself. And that’s very unusual for a woman to kill herself with a gun, number one. Number two, that she actually had possession of a gun. But in Arizona, you can have a gun, which is a whole other story. And that she was only 19.

Michele Goodwin

Only 19. And the part of that that wasn’t unusual, though, was the stress and the horror of what incarceration does to the children of incarcerated parents.

Sue Ellen Allen

That’s exactly right. It was, I mean, she was the oldest. There was the brother, there was a brother who’s older. And then the daughter, the younger sibling. And then another daughter, and then another son, the other three are still alive. And so I won’t mention any names, out of respect for them. But what an awful thing for them to go through and listening to their stories is quite; they’re heroic young people.

Michele Goodwin

Tell us about Reinventing Reentry and why you founded this organization.

Sue Ellen Allen

Well, some of us are a little slower on the uptake than others and I realized that changing the, trying to go into the prisons and bringing education into prisons is a worthwhile and worthy cause—but, it’s like trying to empty the ocean with a slotted spoon. Because it’s one human being at a time which is not, which is priceless. Every human being is priceless. But, we need to make the change at the cellular level in our policies and, dare I say, changing hearts and minds. But yes, it’s changing the hearts and minds of the ordinary person who doesn’t understand, like me, the privileged white lady who didn’t understand what it’s like to be inside. And who are these people? And why do they deserve anything? Why did they deserve education? Why did they deserve medical care? Why did Gina deserve it? Why did any of these things? I had to go there to find out the answers.

You can’t get licensed. You can’t. If you look at the National, I’ll send you this information Michele because there are over 42,000 legal collateral consequences if you want a job in the United States of America, there are 42,000 collateral consequences. So in other words, 42,000 laws that prevent you from; I can’t have a business that has gumball machines in it. Because it’s coin-operated.

Michele Goodwin 

You can’t?

Sue Ellen Allen

No, no.

Michele Goodwin

So, let’s repeat that for an audience that has no [concept of this]. So how old are you Sue Ellen? I’m sorry.

Sue Ellen Allen

Ok. No, I’m happy to tell my age.

Michele Goodwin

Alright, so Sue Ellen, how old are you?

Sue Ellen Allen

I’m 75.

Michele Goodwin

Seventy-five. And Sue Ellen, if you wanted to open up a business, you could not have what at your business?

Sue Ellen Allen

I couldn’t have a gumball machine.

Michele Goodwin

You can’t even make that up.

Sue Ellen Allen

No, I can’t make that up. Who makes that stuff up? As our mutual friend, Sandra Bernhard says, “You can’t make this shit up.”

Michele Goodwin

Exactly. Loved having her on the show. She was fabulous. So, I’m glad that you’re on the show.

So those kinds of things that keep people back. What’s the hope that we see coming forward, though, Sue Ellen? Is there some form of a silver lining or things that are changing?

Sue Ellen Allen

Well there’s some organizations out there that I think are pretty fabulous. One is actually started by a whole bunch of men, and some of them went to prison and some of them own Football Association leagues. So the poor ones are getting together with the ones that aren’t so poor, to have … Reform Alliance, for example, Reform Alliance is all about reforming and the incredible penalties that are these collateral consequences. All these jobs that you can’t get. They’re trying to get the $500 bail reduced so we won’t have any more bail for, I mean, that poor kid [Kalief Browder] at Rikers Island was there for three years. Three years. Because he couldn’t afford a $500 bond.

Michele Goodwin

And beaten up, by inmates, by guards. Caught on video, the horrors that he experienced.

Sue Ellen Allen

Yeah. So they’re doing a lot about it. That’s Meek Mill and Van Jones’s group that really have put their life and soul behind it. Jessica Jackson from #cut50. I have the utmost respect for them.

Shaka Senghor. He wrote an incredible book about what, Writing My Wrongs, I think his book is. About writing his way out of prison, really. And there’s some amazing people that have served time inside that are outside now and really making a difference.

And that’s, you know, Michele, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? It’s about what happens to you, when you go inside, and you hit the wall. And the wall breaks you down and crumbles you. Do you put the pieces back together? And do you keep going? Or do you … or do you lose? Do you win? Or do you lose? And I don’t think it’s saying you win, because you go back inside to help other people. It’s people like Shaka and people like Meek and people like you and me. I mean, you never committed a crime. But anyway, people like us who have a way to get back inside that gives you, gives hope to those that we left behind, and I’m putting you in that category.

Michele Goodwin

Guests and listeners, that is it for this very special episode, dedicated to Sue Ellen Allen, of On the Issues with Michele Goodwin. I want to thank Sue Ellen for joining me and being part of this very important and critical conversation. And to our listeners, I thank you for tuning in for the full story! I hope that you’ll join us again for our next episode, as we will be reporting, rebelling and telling like it is with really special guests as we continue to think about dismantling cultures of sexual violence, mass incarceration, and issues that are important to you.

For more information on what we discussed today head to msmagazine.com. And if you believe as we do that women’s voices matter, that equality for all persons cannot be delayed, and that rebuilding America, being unbought and unbossed, and reclaiming our time are important, then be sure to visit us at Apple Podcast. Look for us at Ms. magazine.com for new content and special episode updates.  Rate and subscribe to On The Issues with Michele Goodwin in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Google Podcast and Stitcher. Please let us know what you think about our show, and please support independent feminist media.

And, if you want to reach us, to recommend guests for our show or topics that you want to hear about write to us at: ontheissues@msmagazine.com.

This has been your host, Michele Goodwin reporting, rebelling and telling it like it is. On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a Ms. magazine joint production. Kathy Spillar and Michele Goodwin are our executive producers. Our producers for this episode are Maddy Pontz, Roxy Szal and Mariah Lindsay. We thank Oliver Haug for research and digital assistance. The creative vision behind our work includes art and design by Brandi Phipps; editing by Will Alvarez and Marsh Allen; and music by Chris J. Lee.  We also want to thank the Women’s Prison Association for their special work on this episode. Stephanie Wilner provides executive assistance.

Editor’s note: We thank Stacey Chapman for contributing to this reporting.