Been There, Done That

By Dianne Frazee-Walker

Kathryn Griffin, 53, leads an unconventional reentry program at the Harris County Jail in Houston for women who have been incarcerated for prostitution. Griffin’s mission to rehabilitate women who were living on the streets supporting their drug addictions by means of prostitution is not just a coincidence. She has lived this lifestyle herself. Photo courtesy

Griffin’s experience began 30-years ago, when she toured as a singer with Rick James. She developed a cocaine habit that she couldn’t sustain with her singing income alone. Griffin had to sell herself for sex to keep up with her drug addiction.

After 20-years of accruing drug and prostitution charges, Griffin was facing up to 35-years in prison. Her life turned around after she completed her drug treatment and sentence.

Griffin was volunteering at Harris County Jail when she met up with Adrian Garcia, then city councilman and currently Harris County Sheriff. The program was spawned when Garcia was inspired by Griffin’s vision of creating a program for women serving time for prostitution. Garcia is responsible for launching the program that dozens of women have successfully completed. 

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