Presenting author: Mmabotse Violet Maodi
Presenting author biography:
Violet Maodi is a Community Linkage Officer and she works for SANPUD. She works with PWUD/PWID community and is passionate about the work she does advocating for her community.
LIFE BEYOND A PRISON SENTENCE FOR WWUD
Mmabotse Violet Maodi
Life as a substance user is hard enough with it's daily challenges but instead of our justice system working with our key populations so we can find a solution to all the hardships we face, instead it is biased and just takes advantage of our misfortunes. Going into imprisonment should be a rehabilitating experience that will assist the individual to reform and reimagine life but after a lengthy sentence that was born out of the use of substances comes more uncertainty and a life of no opportunities and with that again comes the reality of going back into the streets with no hope. Society persecutes ex-convicts and more so if the individual is a woman who uses drugs. We fail to see beyond what we think is right or wrong and even more so we fail to give ex-convicts a chance to re-establish who they are after incarceration in an unfriendly environment. Women who use substances have no voice, we are the minority and we are made to feel ashamed so we keep silent and not our place in this world.
Women who use substances are the most abused group of women as we have no power against our abusers as they are our providers.
Giving a voice and an education to women who use substances will give us strength to fight for our rights, our place in the world and it will benefit the future generation as we are mothers, we want to leave a legacy and we want to build a strong nation
Changing the system to accommodate even the most vulnerable groups will determine the outcome of the prison term especially for women who use substances.