Tuesday, January 31, 2023
For more than 35 years, Pauline Rogers has been a noteworthy leader in the Criminal and Social Justice space. While providing mentoring for the incarcerated population, she also facilitates reentry housing and services upon release from prison. Pauline is a giant, not simply for the nearly 6 feet of physical height, but because her very life is one of rock-hard resilience. Having overcome sexual abuse as a child, she further witnessed the killing of her father at the hands of her mother, in a desperate act of self-defense. Still a child herself, amidst unspeakable tragedy, Pauline became mired in a place of mental and physical trauma in the coming years. As the oldest of 11 siblings, Pauline, urged by her grandmother, shouldered responsibility for the younger children. Taking this burden seriously, her young brain worked overtime, spinning creative scenarios for how to keep the family going. She pored through local newspapers seeking the nearest funerals, and then gathered the little ones. This was not to grieve for the newly departed but to feed her siblings from the heaping tables of food at the funeral repast. Pauline’s desire to help herself and her siblings inevitably led to a lifestyle of stealing, which ultimately landed her in prison for shoplifting. It was in the cages behind steel walls that her mission and life’s work would unfold. She became assistant to the prison Chaplain, evolving as the go-to person in prison for helping other incarcerated individuals. This drive still lived within Pauline after her prison sentence ended. Now, 35 years later, she continues to provide services and resources to those facing life after prison, including housing for newly released women. Her work also encompasses care for children with an incarcerated parent, providing camps, school supplies, direct services to caregivers, and establishing support systems within their communities. Pauline is a walking gentle giant in the daily lives of those in her care, seeing value in each individual regardless of background, race or nationality. This passion birthed and continues to drive the Reaching & Educating for Community Hope (RECH) Foundation, leading to appearances on CBN-the 700 Club, The Link, The Word Network, and TBN-Trinity Broadcast Network, as well as acknowledgment from numerous universities, magazines, and local newspapers. Pauline was recently honored as one of the Top 6 Remarkable Women in America and named winner of the Mississippi 2021 Remarkable Woman award by Nexstar Television. With an impressive decades-long dedication to advocating for criminal justice transformation, Pauline and her husband Frederick proudly hold the only zero percent recidivism rate by ex-offenders transitioning through their programs. This comes from a unique perspective, with both being formerly incarcerated and knowing firsthand the challenges, barriers and needs facing a person coming out of the Mississippi prison system. With that insight, the couple customizes the necessary support for each person to successfully transition through the rigors of reestablishing a positive, productive lifestyle after the trauma of incarceration. A self-described Solutionist, and Justice General Pauline Rogers knows that she alone is not the ultimate solution for problems – but is instead a committed “ingredient” in every problem that comes her way. She uses the hashtags #solutionist and #iamaningredient, and #justicegeneral influenced by her passion and belief.