Commentary

A familiar story of death in custody

Seven days... Over several days in October 2009, a young man in handcuffs, escorted on either side by  stone-faced officers or guards, was taken from his cell to court, from court back to jail, from jail to a hospital and eventually to a prison infirmary. His narrow face was covered with purple bruises, his eyes… Continue reading A familiar story of death in custody

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Commentary

Privacy Lost

Most of my life I have protested against or advocated for one cause or another, from ending apartheid in South Africa to reforming America's criminal justice system, hardly radical stuff. In the late sixties, my children attended a Harlem (New York) public elementary school; then one of the lowest ranked in the city. To address the… Continue reading Privacy Lost

Commentary

Why do mothers support incarcerated sons?

Years ago, when my 20-year old son was locked up at New York's infamous Rikers Island, I would visit regularly despite the long commute from Brooklyn to Queens, two or three hour waits in the crowded, noisy reception area, and short, but bumpy, rides on dilapidated buses to various "houses" on the island; most times,… Continue reading Why do mothers support incarcerated sons?