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Nooze Hounds: Tiawana Brown, founder of Beauty After the Bars

Episode 75

Beauty After the Bars founder Tiawana Brown and Mrs. Bee hold hands while smiling for the camera, standing in front of the Queen City Podcast Network logo
Tiawana Brown (right), founder of Beauty After the Bars, with Mrs. Bee, a resident at Brown’s newly opened SAFE Home in Mint Hill. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

On episode 75 of the Nooze Hounds podcast, Ryan speaks with Tiawana Brown, founder of Beauty Behind the Bars, about her work helping women who are returning home from incarceration.

Born and raised in Charlotte, Brown launched Beauty After the Bars after serving four years in federal prison on fraud charges. Through her organization, she partners with Sheriff Garry McFadden’s Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office to run a reentry and mentoring program in helping lowering recidivism rates locally.

In April, Brown celebrated the grand opening of her organization’s first Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) Home in Mint Hill. Located on Lawyers Road, the new facility houses up to 10 women returning to the Charlotte community following their incarceration. She will soon open a second SAFE Home on the Beatties Ford Road corridor, and by September hopes to open two more — one on Clanton Road and another in University City — which she received the green light for just hours before coming on our podcast.

“We can’t expect our system of justice to succeed when our approach begins and ends with time behind bars,” Brown said upon opening the first SAFE Home in April. “These women face immense challenges, and without a safe and supportive environment, they are at higher risk of returning to prison. This SAFE home will provide the foundation these women need to rebuild their lives, break the cycle of recidivism, and create a more just and equitable society for all.”

On the podcast, Brown discussed how her own experience with incarceration and the revolving door that leads to recidivism inspired her to make this her life’s work, as well as the financial barriers and debt facing formerly incarcerated women and what it’s been like working with icons in her field such as Ramona Brant and Susan Burton.

Remember you can catch Nooze Hounds on Spotify and other places where you find podcasts and be sure to check out Queen City Podcast Network for a slew of other great Charlotte podcasts that aren’t quite as good as ours but pretty damn close. Find past Nooze Hounds episodes here.

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