Postrelease and Affective Writers
Chapter 5 traces the author's return to Hawai‘i in 2019 to present an excerpt of “Love Letters” as part of the Kanaka Maoli Childhood panel at the annual conference of the American Studies Association. This chapter chronicles interviews with Reiko, one of the core Prison Monologuers, who survived childhood abuse, drug use, and prison and is now a student at Chaminade University; Nicole Fernandez, a prison administrator, who witnesses the transformative power of the Kailua Prison Writing Project; and Noriko Namiki, CEO of YWCA O‘ahu and director of Fernhurst, a parole reentry locale that services released women from the Women's Community Correctional Center. The chapter explores the complicated ways in which the Kailua Prison Writing Project functions as restorative justice and as a direct antidote against recidivism—and the ways in which it fails. Some of the women are back inside.