Listen to “From Harvard to the Big House” a TED Ex-Con Talk I gave at church about my experiences with the men around me in prison, most of whom were much more scared and broken than predatory and threatening.
Memory is a funny thing. No matter how hard I try, I can’t really remember the terrible parts of prison. When I think back about those lost years… all I can remember is the good stuff. How incredible peanut butter tastes when you’re really damn hungry. High-fiving up and down our madhouse of a … More 1,300 days later
America’s prison system is just the smoke, to accomplish meaningful criminal-justice reform the underlying fires of educational, financial, and social inequalities must be addressed alongside any lasting and meaningful penal reform. Simply calling for laws to be slightly altered or pointing fingers at demographic imbalances are red herrings, fixing a system this broken requires first … More mission statement
The pen twitched and jerked six-inches from my left eyeball, “FUCK YOU, YOU RACIST MOTHAFUCKAH – I KNEW YOU WAS AYE-BEE!!” “AYE-BEE? AYBEE?! HOW THE FUCK COULD I BE ARAYAN BROTHERHOOD IF I’M HALF FUCKING JEW?” It was just my fifth night in the twelve-by-eight foot concrete cell, and apparently my cellmate, a hilariously militant … More The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Cellmate
Luckily for me, modern catalytic converters don’t pump out enough carbon-monoxide to kill you when you leave your car running in a closed garage. Turns out that over the past few decades they’ve become far more environmentally friendly, which means that although you’d eventually die – it’d be a slow painful death from a toxic … More our lives are not our own
A long, long time ago deep in the frozen underbelly of the Clarksburg County Jail, I looked down at my wrist and examined the plastic bracelet secured around it. The bracelet was a human-sized version of the sort of tag that naturalists and pet-stores use to track animals. Snapped on with a thick metal fastener … More still so cold
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