Brain Café tackles incarceration through poetry, stories
By Natalie Villacorta Contributing Writer
Everett Company’s Freedom Project Brain Café will bring together health care providers, artists, and community members to discuss issues related to incarceration Oct. 30 in Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Arts at 7 p.m.
Issues discussed will include the disproportionate number of prisoners of color and the prison system’s “default role” as an answer to mental health and addiction problems, according to a press release.
James Gillen, director of the Anchor Recovery Community Center, will discuss the cost of incarceration and the importance of providing inmates with recovery support before they leave prison so that upon release they can succeed. Gillen told PBN that the Brain Café was originally held last April, but community response to the event was so good, with around 80 people in attendance, that Everett decided to hold a second café. Gillen said that community support for the previously incarcerated is hugely important to these individuals’ success – they need help finding jobs and getting back on their feet so that they don’t end back up in prison, he said.
James Monteiro, a Providence native who was incarcerated for several years in Baltimore, Maryland, will share his transformation experience. Monteiro will perform pieces from his book of spoken word poetry entitled “The Lost Child, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
Abe Henderson, director of discharge and planning and case management at the ACI for the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, will talk about his experience helping people released from prison reintegrate into their communities.
The café is a part of Everett Company’s Freedom Project, a multidisciplinary documentary theater production that tells the stories of people who have been marginalized by the American criminal justice system, according to a press release. The project premiers winter 2015 in the Granoff Center.