(In These Times) -- When police arrived at her house to arrest her on May 8, 2013, Tammy Bond turned to her niece and said: “Aunt Tammy did something wrong.”
At age 45, she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. She was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and, like 26,000 others in Illinois, required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
She has great difficulty finding housing or employment. She cannot eat in fast-food restaurants with playgrounds. If a recent Chicago ordinance had passed, she would have been banned from public libraries during the summer. No other conviction results in this level of interference with daily life once time behind bars has been served.
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Prison reform is the topic of the day. Last year, former President Bill Clinton renounced the 1994 omnibus crime bill that helped fill the nation’s prisons. The Black Lives Matter movement has insistently called attention to structural racism throughout the justice system.