• Literacy and Resistance to the School-To-Prison Pipeline “Teaching writing to students of high need in an urban school is simultaneously pedagogical, curricular, and political. Students labeled “at-risk” for school failure often have lowered expectations placed upon them from without that impact how they feel within. Compounding this problem of perception is the real issue of heightened surveillance on these students, including the […] November 15, 2017
  • Graham v. Florida (revisited) Terrance Graham beams with his radiant smile and perfect teeth. That’s the memory I hold of visiting him last year. Today, a year later, I think of Terrance on the anniversary of Graham v. Florida—the Supreme Court Ruling that said you cannot sentence kids to die in prison for non-capitol crimes. Terrence grew up in […] May 23, 2017
  • “In the south, it was nothing for a black man robbing a white establishment to get life.” “My name is Lee Albert Ansley and I’m sixty-five years old. I’m from Jacksonville Florida. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve been an addict; I’ve been a fool. I’m here for a parole violation, but I’ve done a total of 38 years. I was raised by my mom and my big momma-my […] May 4, 2017
  • “It goes on and on and on until somebody stands up..” “Right now I’m forty-five… My mom worked all the time and she was unconcerned with me. Then crack epidemic came and blew the doors off of our whole house. My real father wasn’t around and I did not meet him until I was much older. For some reason, I think I was just pissed off […] April 18, 2017
  • “This is slavery.” I went to Juvie when I was 12-13 for 11 months. Since then, I’ve been incarcerated for 43 years. I was incarcerated on my 16th Birthday. I was given Life and 20. I was convicted of a Rape and Abduction when I was 15 years old. Since 1971 I have been on the street for […] January 25, 2017
  • ‘We’re the walking dead in here.’ “I am sixty one years old. I was 17 years old when I committed the crime. When I was born, dad was not around. I went to juvie maybe three times for not going to school when I was 12 or 13. I stopped going to school in 5th or 6th grade. I went to […] January 19, 2017
  • ‘In the 6th grade I used to sneak out at night and go to juke joints. At age 15 I started messing around and found a gun.’ “My Mom was a laundry worker. Dad was a septic tank worker and a boom sod sprayer. In the 6th grade I used to sneak out at night and go to juke joints. At age 15 I started messing around and found a gun. I got 11 months in Okachobee School for boys. By 8th […] January 18, 2017
  • I was taught the game. “I been her three months now. This is my second time. My moms an X-ray technician, she visits. My dad’s not in the picture. My girlfriend braided my hair. I’m from BPS. Black Peace Stone. Where’s that? It’s the Jungles. What’s that? The apartments. Where are the apartments? Western LA over near La Salle. I […] October 7, 2016
  • “Now the center is my home.” I’ve been here for 3 months and I’ll be here for another 3 months. They say I have some anger problems like yelling and destroying stuff. I grew up close to the Canadian border. I flunked out of the state hospital and all the other facilities in the area. I was 13 when my parents lost parental rights, so now the center […] September 29, 2016
  • “There isn’t a sober person in the family.” We have the same mother. Haven’t seen dad since I was three, when he died drinking. I’m in here for drugs, pills, weed, and some harder stuff. I’ve been at this facility for 11 months. I went through the Drugs and Alcohol Program, but I got drunk the same day I finished. —T.P., age 17 I’m in the 9th grade, I flunked out of my first […] September 19, 2016
  • Graham v. Florida By Richard Ross “I miss you like a prison mom.” Mary Graham has missed her son for the past thirteen years. Since he was sixteen, Terrence has been incarcerated. He was sentenced to die in prison. Terrence grew up with two crack-addicted parents. School was a series of sixteen different institutions as evictions created dislocation […] September 2, 2016
  • “They put me on adult probation at 13.” I first came here at 13. My first charge was having a knife and drugs. The drugs? Weed. I was here for a week—was the worst place I ever want to be…locked up. I came back a couple of months later. More weed charges. They put me on adult probation at 13. This went on […] August 31, 2016