Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Fascinating story from a wrong turn in life

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The headline is “Jeff Smith was supposed to be in Congress by now. Instead he’s an ex-con — with a story to tell.” Worth reading the Washington Post article by Ben Terris. From the article:

. . . But Smith also found prison to be a land of untapped potential, of witty banter and life lessons. The most important thing he learned: stop obsessing about the people who put you there.

“You can’t do time like that,” a man nicknamed KY told him. “Your boy with the wire, man, you can’t even think about the [expletive]. It’ll make you crazy.”

So Smith threw himself into prison life as best he could. He stole vegetables from the warehouse to participate in the underground economy, a system that convinced Smith that his fellow convicts were no different from “business students at Wharton,” just using different lingo and pushing different products.

If there was a villain in Smith’s story, it was the system that was built to beat them down.

“Indeed, upon closer inspection one might say that mass incarceration isn’t the product of a system that is broken but rather the result of a well-oiled machine,” he wrote. He calls out an industry that he says relies on ex-cons cycling back to prison, that would rather teach inmates how to grow tomatoes than offer them business classes, and makes it extremely difficult to maintain ties to family on the outside. . .

Written by LeisureGuy

22 September 2015 at 1:14 pm

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