America's forgotten prisoners
A photographer steps into a women's prison in Texas to meet those caught in the crossfire of the war on drugs
(Wes Bruer)The vast majority of these women are serving time for non-violent drug offenses — many under mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenders enacted during President Reagan's e
(Wes Bruer)While men were often the main targets of the war on drugs, women, particularly women of color, were often collateral damage. Women who were unable or unwilling to provide informati
(Wes Bruer)In 2016, while working at CNN, photojournalist Wes Bruer did a story on one such female prisoner.Sharanda Jones was 32 years old when she was indicted on seven counts of conspiracy
(Wes Bruer)"As was my impression of Sharanda, every one of these women took me by complete surprise with their positive outlook and kindness considering the injustice that has befallen them a
(Wes Bruer)In May 2017, Bruer returned to Carswell, this time to watch one of the women he photographed, Deneise Quintanilla, leave the prison behind after 16 years. In 2001, Quintanilla was
(Wes Bruer)For more on Wes Bruer's prison project, visit Beauty on the Inside. To see more of Bruer's photography, check out his website, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.