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Becoming Ms. Burton Audiobook

Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women

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Publisher's Summary

One woman's remarkable odyssey from tragedy to prison to recovery - and recognition as a leading figure in the national justice reform movement.

Susan Burton's world changed in an instant when her five-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan self-medicated, becoming addicted first to cocaine then to crack. As a resident of South Los Angeles, a black community under siege in the War on Drugs, it was but a matter of time before Susan was arrested. She cycled in and out of prison for over 15 years; never was she offered therapy or treatment for addiction. On her own, she eventually found a private drug rehabilitation facility.

Once clean, Susan dedicated her life to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that supply a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children - setting them on the track to education and employment rather than returning to prison. Becoming Ms. Burton not only humanizes the deleterious impact of mass incarceration, it also points the way to the kind of structural and policy changes that will offer formerly incarcerated people the possibility of lives of meaning and dignity.

©2017 Susan Burton and Cari Lynn (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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4.8 (66 )
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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-18-17
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Compelling"

    This is the story of Burton’s life. The co-author is journalist and writer Cari Lynn. The first part of the book is about Burton’s early years in which she suffered from emotional neglect and sexual abuse. After Burton’s five-year-old son was killed by an automobile, she became a drug addict. This began years of being in and out of prison.

    The second half of the book reveals her path to recovery. She formed a nonprofit organization entitled “A New Way of Life Reentry Project”. This organization helps other women stay out of prison and re-enter society. Burton has won many awards for her work and the Los Angeles Times named her one of the Nation’s New Civil Rights Leaders. She advocated for a more humane justice system guided by compassion and dignity.

    The book is well written and easy to read. Along with her life story, Burton also examines a number of issues in a broader context such as: How the lack of employment and housing opportunities increase the odds of a person returning to prison. She writes about ways to change these societal issues. Burton also provides statistics to reveal a fuller perspective of the problems of the prison system. Ms. Burton’s book not only inspires but educates.

    The book is ten and a half hours long. Janina Edwards does a good job narrating the book. Edwards is a voice over artist and audiobook narrator.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty 06-15-17
    Betty 06-15-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Great!"

    Extremely eye-opening book that describes the struggles that so many millions of Americans face, which we rarely hear about. Inspiring, with the message that each person can make a difference. And hardships and struggles can be turned into an asset!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Keleher 05-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "so full of information."

    this book brought me to tears of sadness and joy. I knew I would love it and I did

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-29-17 Member Since 2017
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    "MUST READ! Inspiring and informative"

    Recently expanding my career to include working with formerly incarcerated women I was anxious to read thia book. I learned so much about the life experiences of women in cycles of drug addiction, incarceration, recovery and re-entry that I hope to apply to my work. The story is also a bit overwhelming to learn the statistics and realities of incarceration, re-entry support and recidivism. I want to be a Mrs. Burton! A New Way of Life should bw in every community.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 09-22-17
    Anna COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 09-22-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Rubberbanding my preconceived perceptions"

    Becoming Ms. Burton was somewhat of a challenging listen as it stretched my comfort zones of what I thought was logical consequences for certain actions. I like to have my ideas challenged as I know that is the only way to grow. This book is very well written and narrated beautifully by Janina Edwards. After completing the book I feel that I have a better perspective of our overcrowded prison system, the disadvantages of growing up in our poorest neighborhoods, and the lack of resources available to help young people succeed. I am also left with a few questions that I would want to ask Ms. Burton. I would like to know how she sees people's responsibility for taking ownership of their actions? She wants to get rid of the consequences and provide help instead. My question would be, how should our society force someone to get the help that they need before their actions hurt the people around them? Again, I'm glad that these thoughts are swimming around in my mind. Being challenged in our preconceived perceptions is healthy and leads to growth and change. Thank you Ms. Burton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Edwards Columbia, SC United States 09-10-17
    D. Edwards Columbia, SC United States 09-10-17 Member Since 2009
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    "All Americans should hear this American story!"

    All Americans should hear this American horror story. For allowing these things to happen here, we are the villain. The enemy's weapon of choice is ignorance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda S. White Gilbert, AZ 06-25-17
    Linda S. White Gilbert, AZ 06-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Change is possible, yes we can!"

    Incredible and full of hope
    Inspirational, we can shift our views
    Thank you!!!!
    Thank you ms burton

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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