Shawna Roman Supports Smart Justice

Arizona's mass incarceration crisis has devastating effects on individuals and their families. Many formerly incarcerated people continue to be punished for their crimes long after they have left prison, as they struggle to integrate back into society. These are a few of their stories. We want to hear yours. 

Shawna Roman 

mytubethumb play
%3Ciframe%20allow%3D%22autoplay%3B%20encrypted-media%22%20allowfullscreen%3D%22%22%20frameborder%3D%220%22%20height%3D%22315%22%20src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FIrsrr2AjYpM%3Fautoplay%3D1%26version%3D3%22%20width%3D%22560%22%3E%3C%2Fiframe%3E
Privacy statement. This embed will serve content from youtube.com
 

"[My son] plans on looking for me when he's old enough to do so." -Shawna Roman

Shawna Roman was a mother of two when she entered the criminal justice system for the first time. Shawna said she hit a roadblock in her life after her husband abandoned her. "I became a very broken person," Shawna said. While in prison, Shawna was denied transport to attend a custody hearing. Because she did not show up to the hearing, she lost her rights to contact her children by default. "He doesn't even remember me," Shawna said of her youngest son. The first time Shawna was released from jail, she became homeless. A lack of adequate services to help get her back on her feet led to two more arrests. Shawna is now focused on improving her life in hope of one day seeing her children again. She wants to reform Arizona's criminal justice system so more rehabilitative services are available for people who need help during difficult times in their lives. 

 

Eugene Glover 

mytubethumb play
%3Ciframe%20allow%3D%22autoplay%3B%20encrypted-media%22%20allowfullscreen%3D%22%22%20frameborder%3D%220%22%20height%3D%22315%22%20src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2F3nvX0CFhkNg%3Fautoplay%3D1%26version%3D3%22%20width%3D%22560%22%3E%3C%2Fiframe%3E
Privacy statement. This embed will serve content from youtube.com

"Not being locked up and having my family back in my life, that's the most wonderful gift I could ever ask for." -Eugene Glover

 

Eugene Glover spent 14 years in an Arizona prison where he believes he did not receive proper medical care. As a diabetic, Eugene felt as though the Arizona Department of Corrections did not take his medical needs seriously. Eugene believes the lack of effective reentry programs in Arizona prisons leads to a high rate of people being sent back to prison. Upon release, his lack of knowledge of basic technology put him at a disadvantage as he searched for work. "I go to apply for a job, the job tells me I have to go online. Online? What are you talking about online? I have no idea of this new technology," Eugene said. Eugene is now employed and is learning how to use a smartphone. He is also back in touch with his family after losing contact with them for years. "As far as my freedom goes, not being locked up, and having my family back in my life, that's the most wonderful gift I could ever ask for," he said. 

 

 

Khalil Rushdan 

mytubethumb play
%3Ciframe%20allow%3D%22autoplay%3B%20encrypted-media%22%20allowfullscreen%3D%22%22%20frameborder%3D%220%22%20height%3D%22315%22%20src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2F2-wEJQ4fX0I%3Fautoplay%3D1%26version%3D3%22%20width%3D%22560%22%3E%3C%2Fiframe%3E
Privacy statement. This embed will serve content from youtube.com
 

"Upon my release and me being grateful to have another opportunity, I was like, 'I have to give back,'" -Khalil Rushdan 

 
Khalil Rushdan grew up in a family of eight kids. He started selling drugs at 13 out of desperation to help his family make ends meet. At 22, he was convicted of a murder he did not commit. The charges stemmed from a drug deal in Pima County. He was the middleman and had no idea the deal, which he did not directly participate in, would end in a murder. When the Pima County Attorney was unable to convict the real killer, prosecutors went after Khalil. Khalil spent 15 years in prison before a judge overturned his conviction on evidence of vindictive prosecution. Although he is now free, Khalil never got the chance to watch his daughter grow up and missed precious moments with his mother, who died shortly after his release. "Those are things I can’t get back," Khalil said. He now works for the ACLU of Arizona's Campaign for Smart Justice and is a mentor to other formerly incarcerated individuals. "Upon my release and me being grateful to have another opportunity, I was like, 'I have to give back,'" he said.
 

 

Stay informed

ACLU of Arizona is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National