Literary Nonfiction. Women's Studies. RELEASING HOPE was born out of the first book, ARRESTING HOPE: WOMEN TAKING ACTION IN PRISON HEALTH INSIDE OUT (Inanna Publications, 2014), which describes participatory health research and the experience of women incarcerated inside a British Columbian provincial correctional center from 2005 to 2007. Readers of ARRESTING HOPE, moved by the stories written by incarcerated women, asked, "What happened next? How are the women doing now that they are released from prison?" Starting in 2007, women who were released from prison formed a network called Women in2 Healing because they wished to continue participatory health research in the community. Their overarching research question was, "How can we improve the health of women in prison and following their release?" RELEASING HOPE describes the journeys of formerly incarcerated women and their encounters with the barriers (financial, emotional, familial, systemic) that they confronted during their reintegration in the community. RELEASING HOPE touches on the stories of individual women and the learning from participatory health research that made visible their lives, their hopes, their dreams and fears.
Elwood Martin is co-editor of the anthologies RELEASING HOPE: STORIES OF TRANSITION FROM PRISON TO COMMUNITY (Inanna Publications, 2019) and ARRESTING HOPE: WOMEN TAKING ACTION IN PRISON HEALTH INSIDE OUT (Inanna Publications, 2014). She worked as family physician in Vancouver from 1983 to 2009; she also worked part-time in the medical clinics of British Columbia correctional centres for men and women for seventeen years. She is a Clinical Professor of the School of Population and Public Health, University British Columbia, and an Associate Faculty of the Department of Family Practice. Her experiences as a prison physician participatory health researcher during the time period of Arresting Hope changed her, such that her goal became to foster the improvement of prison health and to engage patients' voices in the process. She co-founded the Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education, which is a group committed to encouraging and facilitating collaborative opportunities for health, education, research, service, and advocacy, to enhance the social well-being and (re)integration of individuals in custody, their families, and communities. From 2011 to 2017, she served as Chair of the Prison Health Communities of Practice Group of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Ruth continues to live and work in Vancouver, BC. Author City: VANCOUVER, BC CAN