Freeing Tammy: Women, Drugs, and Incarceration

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Overview

Tammara (Tammy) Johnson is an African-American woman in her fifties, an ex-addict with a 19-year heroin habit and a felony record, who works as the job development trainer for an in-patient drug treatment program in south suburban Chicago. Raised in a middle-class family, Tammy left home early because she could not live up to parental expectations. She turned to drugs and crime and was eventually incarcerated for selling drugs.

This book, the third in a trilogy about Chicago women by noted author Jody Raphael, is the story of Tammy’s metamorphosis. Raphael’s narrative, based on extensive interviews with Tammy and family members, shows the detrimental effects of incarceration on an already abused woman and illuminates Tammy’s efforts to release herself from the literal and figurative prisons of abuse, addiction, crime, fear, and hopelessness.

Raphael uses the transit of Tammy’s life—from childhood trauma to adult rehabilitation—to investigate the linkages between childhood sexual assault and domestic violence with women’s drug addiction and then with crime. She uses Tammy’s own words to demonstrate how childhood sexual assault and violence can make women poor and how dysfunctional coping strategies keep them poor. Tammy’s story is a reminder that violence against women and girls economically impoverishes them by trapping them in addictions leading to crime and other self-destructive activities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jody Raphael conveys a gripping story of one woman’s journey through abuse, drug addiction, and imprisonment. The third of Raphael’s trilogy of books about Chicago women enmeshed in lives of poverty, violence, prostitution, and drug use, Freeing Tammy is an invaluable contribution to the field of women’s criminology.”—Women’s Review of Books

"[A] dynamic, stunning account . . . Raphael addresses the question of prison as punishment or rehabilitation. She leaves the reader with a piercing question of whether ex-felons should be viewed as "immoral convicts" or whether they should be treated as persons who need new opportunities to succeed. Recommended for students of criminology, public policy makers, and teachers and counselors who work with "at-risk" populations."—Multicultural Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555536732
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 5/31/2007
  • Series: Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 994,062
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

JODY RAPHAEL is Senior Research Fellow, Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center, DePaul University College of Law. Freeing Tammy is the final volume of Raphael’s trilogy about women, poverty, and violence in contemporary Chicago that includes Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty (NUP, 2000) and Listening to Olivia: Violence, Poverty, and Prostitution (NUP, 2004).

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Table of Contents

Prologue
Betrayal
Trial
County Jail
Prison
Numbing
Minimum Security
Terrence Alone
The Basement
Forgetting
Out of the Basement
Epilogue: Back to County
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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