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Exoneration's false freedom: Released prisoners face hard times on the outside.


When you leave prison as an exoneree, you leave with nothing, not even a bus pass. If you're wearing something that belongs to the prison, you might receive a bill for it later. You have nothing, your record is not automatically cleared, your family has probably moved on, your spouse probably divorced you, your kids don't know you anymore. There is a stunning lack of compensation, state-to-state, in this country.

Investigative journalist Alison Flowers reports on the harsh conditions faced by newly exonerated prisoners - from the meager financial compensation and institutional support offered by the state, to the psychological toll of years and decades spent locked up - and explains addressing the plight of exonerees requires confronting the larger problem of American mass incarceration itself, and the brutal mechanisms that devalue both human lives and the ideals of justice.

Alison is the author of Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity, available now from Haymarket Books.

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Alison Flowers

Alison Flowers is an investigative journalist.


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