Chazidy Bowman on her “full circle moment”—from Emerging Leaders™ participant to panelist speaker

May 8, 2024

By Chazidy Bowman (Emerging Leaders™ 2019 and Leading with Conviction™ 2021):

It was a full circle moment for me last week in Cincinnati, sitting on the JustLeadershipUSA Emerging Leaders™ partner panel and speaking about our work around Post-Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) and the research we have been doing for four years with the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, concerning the mental health of formerly incarcerated people and those who support them.

The real reentry starts with mental health.

The last question the moderator asked was, “What do we think is missing from the criminal justice space?” I spoke up and said, we do not address PICS and mental health. It’s beautiful to see how we are building leaders, but we are not serving any of them justice if we are not addressing the mental issues they are struggling with from the trauma of incarceration.

We also can’t talk about PICS if we aren’t talking about the late Terence Gorski — where it all began. We have to attribute the pioneers of our work, where it came from, and give credit where it’s due. We are carrying the torch of this work and its true essence to get people the help they need.

The real second chance begins in the mind. The real reentry starts with mental health. Addressing PICS and the five stages of it is where we begin healing and reclaiming lives.


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