1986 was an important year in the War on Melanin Possession and the Indigent (formally known as the “War on Drugs” and practically waged as the War on Black, Brown, and Poor People). Reynolds Jr., the son of cocaine- and heroin-addicted parents, was in the sixth grade.Read more "Death by Imprisonment: America’s War on Melanin Possession and the Indigent"
Tyrie Bell was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. His crime: He sold 82 grams of crack to an informant. Tyrie has been locked away for 17 years. It is not simply the shockingly harsh sentence that makes Tyrie a compelling argument for sentencing reform. It is the disparity between him and the violent undercover informant who netted him that demands our attention. It is also the story of Tyrie’s teen drug addiction, homelessness, and earnest prison rehabilitation that forces our nation to confront its own addiction to incarceration.Read more "“But the Legislation Doesn’t Go Far Enough”: It’s Time to Check Our Unincarcerated Privilege in the Conversation About Sentencing Reform"
I write. Hard. With clenched fists. An arrested heart. I write legal briefs, musings and published articles. I have cut prison concrete with my keyboard – while crying. My writings are an overdue invoice to America and myself.Read more
The quantum of Eric’s entire life flashes before him in the bright blue light of his prison welding gun. In the federal penitentiary’s steel factory, Eric earns just over $1 per hour. Eric’s gaze never rose above the eye level of poverty.Read more "A bright blue light"