The Crusader Newspaper Group

After battling prison and addiction, mother stops women from returning to system

Lottie Joiner, USA Today

Just as Susan Burton was getting her life back together, it fell apart again.

It was 1981 when her 5-year-old son was killed in a car accident. The young mother began drinking to cope with her depression. She started taking Valium, then cocaine and crack. A year after her son’s death, she was in federal prison, serving 13 months for drug possession.

When Burton was released, she says, a prison guard predicted her return. As she walked out, the guard told her that the system had a “bed waiting for you, Burton,” she recalled years later. “You’ll be back.”


Recent News

Scroll to Top