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Annette Dominguez, Sheila Luther and Candace Palucci

Our passion for helping families stems from our nearly 30 years of work inside an Ohio women’s prison. Working in a substance abuse treatment program, Tapestry Therapeutic Community, we observed mothers interacting with their children through phone calls, in the visiting hall, and in various mother/child events offered by the prison. We witnessed the impact incarceration has on the women, their children, and other family members. We knew there were limited resources in children’s literature to help explain what happens when mothers go to prison and we always wanted to change that. In April 2020, when the Tapestry program closed due to the pandemic, we found ourselves with the perfect opportunity to write the book we could never find.”How Mommy Found Her Way Home” is our tribute to the women we served and our contribution to families who struggle with the consequences of a mother’s incarceration. Our hope is that “Lily”, our narrator, will lead those families to healing conversations.

The colorful and inviting illustrations are the caring work of artist Sheila Luther, formerly incarcerated for 13 years and a Tapestry alumni member. “I went to prison when I was 41, and my daughter was an adult by then, but it was already too late. She’d already had a lifetime of hurt” shares Luther. Sheila learned how to change her destructive lifestyle and her illustrations are done in loving memory of her own “Lily,” whose greatest legacy is Sheila’s amazing granddaughter. In addition to her beautiful artwork, Sheila has dedicated her life to serving her sisters as they transition home and supporting the families of those who remain behind the walls.