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When A Prison Sentence Ends, The Threat Of Deportation Begins

Steve Drown
Charles Joseph, an undocumented immigrant from Fiji, faces deportation after his release.

From the series Uncuffed:

When undocumented immigrants are released from incarceration they can face deportation. Charles Joseph, who was born in Fiji, says that's what will happen to him.

When he was younger, Charles Joseph’s father was incarcerated and deported. With no father figure around and an overworked mother, it led him down a path that eventually landed him in incarceration.

"Every time I think of my freedom I just focus on my children."

During his incarceration, Charles has gone through extensive lengths to rehabilitate and change himself so he may be a better father figure for his family.

He worries that if he’s not around, his children might fall down the same path he is on, continuing the vicious cycle that affects so many families today.

This interview was first published on April 8, 2019 with the headline "Facing deportation, a prisoner fears his family might be torn apart." Since then, Charles paroled from Solano, and spent almost a year in ICE custody. Living in Sacramento, he wears an ankle monitor and still faces the threat of deportation. He is the Spiritual Activist in Residence for the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, and advocates for a bill that would end California prison transfers to ICE. Listen through the end of the interview for an update from Charles about how he's doing now.

KALW’s radio training program at Solano State Prison is supported by the California Arts Council, with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. All content is approved by a prison information officer.

Uncuffed is a project in which KALW editors train incarcerated people to report stories from inside prison. A CDCR official listened to and approved the audio for this story prior to broadcast.

Learn more about Uncuffed and subscribe to the podcast at WeAreUncuffed.org.

Updated: July 21, 2021 at 3:57 PM PDT
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