My name is Shanella Clark. I am a trainer for CCI's E470 Image Processing Department. I've been working for this company sine the beginning of my incarceration at Denver Women's Correctional Facility (DWCF) in October 2019. I am currently serving a 10 year sentence for assault to my spouse. I was in an abusive marriage for four years and classified as high risk due to medical complications when I stepped into DWCF. My life had turned completely upside down in a matter of seconds. I went from working as a radiologist technologist and mammographer to a confined prisoner overnight. I had no idea of how to survive in prison. I've never been arrested before and this entire ordeal was foreign and terrifying.
I was offered a position in November of 2019 at E470, because it allowed me a safe place to work. I didn't know it would be my foundation for sustainment, my bridge to connect with my community, my anchor to parenthood, and a ladder to freedom. It aided in my transformation of how I was going to mature in my journey of incarceration.
The routine of working Monday through Friday, 7am - 3pm is what sustained my mental capacity. It helped me grasp ahold to normalcy that was abruptly removed from my life. I reestablished purpose by working in a professional environment. It allowed me to escape the universe that exists behind these walls.
I am not a native Coloradan and I don't have any affiliations with anyone in prison. I was able to connect with my co-workers by growing a bond with them through motivating and training them, helping them meet new production goals which opened doors for all of us that's been shut for years. The increase in wages allowed me to give back to my community by donating hygiene and food to those in need. It is important to uplift your community regardless to where it is located.
My existence is grounded in being a Mother. Being a Mother for the first time is difficult for anyone, especially doing it from prison, thousands of miles from your child and family. Despite the odds, my daughter and I relationship is thriving because I am financially capable of calling her every day and partaking in video visits. I am supporting my daughter by paying her daycare expenses, birthday gifts, clothes, and various necessities that helps my Mother care for my daughter with less stress. It's important for me to remain active in her life and do as much as I can for my family.
Since the pay changed to minimum wage in January 2022, I've saved money to obtain an attorney to assist me in legal proceedings. My ultimate goal is to return to my daughter a better person I left. I want her to learn from my mistakes and know that when opportunities present themselves...even in the crudest of places...be grateful and give it your all. You never know what blessings may come from it.
I AM CCI
August 28, 2022