The Blog

Out of Jail, Free

In Connecting the Dots on Thursday, 10 April 2008 at 10:01

The Los Angeles Times caught our attention yesterday with a must-read story about ex-con Ken Layton and his struggle to readapt to civilian society. Reporter Susan Brink peppers her narrative with “quotes” from Layton’s inner monologue, projecting a real-life image of convict mentality: “Do unto others before they do unto you.” The piece echoes an earlier one in New York about a Long Island community for released sex offenders. And The New Yorker has yet another heartrending detainment story, this time about the Hutto Center, a privately run center in Texas where children of illegal immigrants are kept away from their parents in prison-like conditions.

Phew. We know that’s a heavy bit of reading, so here’s a break: a real-life farce about Italian prisoners that couldn’t stay in jail if they tried.

  1. I read the story on Ken. I found it fascinating and informative at once. Ken verbalized what every ex con feels. A sense that the “old ways” will sneak up on you and derail a measure of success. A hard-fought measure of success. When society… (in the words of the late Chief Justice Warren Burger) “sees prisoners and prisons as our collective responsibilty…” we will begin to see some real strides in our evolving society. I admire Ken, his story and the people that he allowed to touch his life in such a way.

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