Many community leaders and activists are hard at work to reform the prison system, but they should be advocating for child welfare system reform, too. If we improve the foster care system, we will reduce the number of people in prison.
"While my inside [incarcerated] classmates live in cages, I have been educated in one." This is a shout-out to the most transformational model of teaching and learning that I have ever seen: the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.
If we care about equitable prisoner re-entry and about reducing America's absurdly high recidivism rate, we should care about prison education. The value of higher education behind bars transcends dollars and cents.
Like the standard business cycle, drug money creates booms, busts, and misallocations of investments and resources. One of the most insidious aspects of the drug industry is that its excess profits are invested in human capital.
The trauma of me being mugged in a park in 1981 had far-reaching consequences. To cope with the flashbacks and feelings of powerlessness and humiliation, I taught the kind of children who had attacked me in order to better understand their motives.
I had never considered the possibility that a decade in prison might not harden a prisoner against his jailers but provide him with the intellectual and emotional tools to become a passionate advocate for reconciliation.