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“When Dolfinette Martin was convicted of shoplifting more than $700 worth of clothes in Louisiana in 2005, she had five children, no money and an addiction to cocaine.
“Seven years later, in 2012, Ms. Martin became one of a growing number of impoverished women released from prisons and jails whose plight has been largely overlooked during continuing efforts to reverse mass incarceration, according to criminal justice experts.
“’That cycle of poverty — not a lot of resources, not a lot of jobs, the lack of education, you kind of give up,’ said Ms. Martin, 46, who now works as an administrative assistant.”