Thank you for including us on the Project Avary walk in September. It was an truly an amazing day, far more powerful and thought-provoking than me and my husband Steve ever could have imagined. We had many conversations about it since that day, and we really just can’t stop thinking about the men – especially the Kid CAT members – locked up for huge swaths – if not all – of their lives. We had a talk with a man name David, a deeply thoughtful articulate young man who reminded us very much of the sons of some of our best friends. I was so involved in the conversation that I forgot where I was, until he mentioned his cell. The openness of the men to talking and expressing pieces of themselves really floored us .
The import of circumstances – maybe coupled with a few breaks one way or another – is breathtaking. This was revealed to me so profoundly on that day. AS was the immense talent of the men there playing music, rapping, love and plea for forgiveness – I’ve ever heard. I grieve for them.
What I was hoping for was a peek over the wall – to get a glimpse of what goes on the other side. We saw the best of it, I’m sure, as most hours and days are spent differently than with us. But I am so grateful – as expressed in the closing circle at the end of the walk. To have had the opportunity to see to see those men in blue working hard to open their hearts, amend their mindset and contribute to improving the lot of others, to breaking the cycle.
Keep up the good work! In community, Vicki and Steve
“No one – not even the government itself – has ever been able to specify with any certainty the precise number of federal crimes defined … in the 27,000 or so pages of the U.S. Code.” In the 1980s, lawyers at the Department of Justice estimated that the criminal code contained 3,000 crimes. Today, the Heritage Foundation estimates the federal laws currently enumerate nearly 5,000 crimes, a number that grows every year.
Holly Harris, Executive Director of the U.S. Justice Action Network, told Foreign Affairs Magazine in “The Prisoner Dilemma” March /April 2017 www.ForeignAffairs.com