Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2016

Reunion

I went to prison today.

I am alternately feeling hopeful and extremely pessimistic. Our prison system is so careless; there are so many lives wasted. At the same time, I think it might have saved someone's life. Let me explain.

When I was teaching, I made a point to tell my students, many of whom had few stable adults in their lives, that they would always be "my kids." Today, that meant driving two hours (a friend drove me which was wonderful because I was really nervous) to Mule Creek State Prison to visit "Jorge" who has his own chapter in my book.

I am not going to go into Jorge's whole life story because he has his own chapter in my book, Literally Unbelievable: Stories from an East Oakland Classroom. The very abridged version is that he was born to a 14-year old illegal immigrant who quickly developed a drug problem, if she didn't have one when he was born. He had to take responsibility for his family his whole childhood, and was mainly raised by…