Culture and Society
When sent to the “box,” I would try to smuggle in a fragment of pencil lead, usually by hiding it in my cheek. Then I could spend my time drawing castles — on scraps of newspaper or directly on the floor and walls.
November 15, 1975, 3 AM on a Saturday morning, two months after my twentieth birthday. When the police came knocking on my door, I was sleeping. I’ve heard that’s how evil comes, in the dark of night. It don’t want to be seen.
Maya Schenwar On The Failure Of Mass Incarceration
Prison deepened my sister’s addiction, crushed her self-esteem, narrowed her options for jobs and education, and diminished her hope for a good life. She was in a much worse situation each time she came out.
The short story is my brother got arrested. Again. In Pampa, Texas, this time: possession of marijuana and driving under the influence. “A total violation of my rights” is how he put it. They took his passenger into protective custody — “they” being animal control, since his passenger was a snake.
One of the most jarring parts of being in prison is waking up. Every morning it comes crashing down: the smells, the walls, the noise, the irrefutable fact of being trapped, and the memory of the events that led me here.
I jog as far into this uncharted area as I can, toward the mouth of the river. A soldier emerges from some reeds, and then a dozen more. Guns are pointing at me. I have accidentally run into a squad on patrol in full gear.