Smart Justice
Shawna Roman

Shawna Roman's story

Shawna Roman was a mother of two when she entered the criminal justice system for the first time. Shawna said she hit a roadblock in her life after her husband abandoned her. “I became a very broken person,” Shawna said. While in prison, Shawna was denied transport to attend a custody hearing. Because she did not show up to the hearing, she lost her rights to contact her children by default. “He doesn’t even remember me,” Shawna said of her youngest son. “My oldest one tells him about me. He plans on looking for me when he’s old enough to do so.” The first time Shawna was released from jail, she became homeless. A lack of adequate services to help get her back on her feet led to two more arrests. Shawna is now focused on improving her life in hope of one day seeing her children again. She wants to reform Arizona’s criminal justice system so more rehabilitative services are available for people who need help during difficult times in their lives.