How Prison Conditioning Still Affects These Women After Their Release

Season 5 Episode 513
Aired on 09/15/2018 | CC tv-14
Upon her release from prison after serving close to 10 years, Brandi struggled to re-acclimate to society as a free woman. For instance, Brandi says, she couldn't erase from her mind some of the routines and habits that were a part of her daily life for nearly a decade—like stand-up count, where inmates must go to their cells and stand at 4 p.m. to be counted by the prison guards. Even after getting out, Brandi, Taii and Matilda would all feel a sense of anxiety or urgency when that time of day rolled around.

"I don't care where I was at, I had this feeling like I'm missing something. Like, what I'm supposed to be doing? And it's 4 o'clock and I know that's stand-up count," Brandi says. "It's just, like, a feeling, like an urgency or like fearful."

"And what did it feel like when the officer came to count you?" Iyanla asks, looking to delve deeper into the emotional import of the ritual.

"Solemn," Taii says.

"It was degrading," Brandi adds.

Watch Episode 513, "Female Felons: Healing Is the New Black (Part 1)"

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