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COMING HOME: Reentry After Incarceration

Errol Daniels | United States

In Buffalo NY, on April 30, 2017, Dennis "Dove" Tremblay holds a photograph of himself with his siblings.

I am a documentary photographer working with author Katherine Russell to tell the stories of people coming out of prison and reentering society. Our stories of 25 participants will be completed by the end of 2017 in a series of photographs and interviews, The exhibit will open at CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY in 2018. The opening will include a panel discussion with experts and impacted people in the reentry community addressing the topic of “Community Approaches to Fostering Reentry Success”,  specifically, what can and what should the community do to support returning citizens.

Through short essays and photographs, we aim to challenge people’s perceptions of returning citizens and reveal our subjects’ internal struggles with guilt, forgiveness, and redemption. Through extensive interviews and multiple photo sessions, each subject has worked with us to ensure their voice is a bigger part of this project than our own. As artists, Katherine and I both strive to depict the untold, and together we are weaving word and image to reframe the current mainstream narratives on post-incarceration life.


COMING HOME:  Re-Entry Post Incarceration

Artist Statement

I am drawn to projects involving people who are disadvantaged in some way.  My subjects are complex; challenged by physical, social, mental, or political issues.  I strive to connect with my subjects, and to reveal their dignity, humanity and courage.  

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about what it’s like for an ex-inmate to re-enter the world once they get out of prison. With these images, I am introducing this population to viewers who may not know much about issues facing people reintegrating society, and may not have ever met an ex-inmate.

For these individuals, being released after serving time comes with many challenges.  Many are without families or any support systems.  They can be financially challenged and frequently discriminated against, feared, ignored or all of the above.  Those with loving families to support them, coupled with the ability to find a job are best suited for success.  

My goal is to chisel through these attitudes and show each person’s humanity. Ex-inmates travel a difficult path—ultimately, they are people who face the same human challenges, fears, and ambitions as anyone else.  But there is a disconnect in society when it comes to empathizing with ex-inmates.

I am grateful to all the people who open their homes, their lives and their hearts to me and my camera.

Errol Daniels



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