Gottschalk reminds us that racial disparities in the prison population remain breathtakingly high. Although she finds little evidence of overt bias and stereotyping in sentencing, she notes that "a little bias" -- in charges prosecutors decide to file and the plea bargains they accept -- can go a long way.
"We talk about something they lived out. It's not based on academic ideas," says Jed Brewer who is the program director for The Bridge service, which is where he hopes people have an authentic, free, positive experience. One major hindrance to that experience is the struggle for men and woman coming out of prison to believe that anyone wants them around.