FREE by LAUREN KESSLER

5 percent of the millions of American men and women who go to prison eventually get out. What happens to them?

As I was reading this book, I was thinking we all need to read this! The author educates us on just how many people are being locked up for longer and longer periods of time for minor crimes. I think my favorite part was dealing with charging children as adults. I can’t even imagine being locked up at 14 with grown men. Thirty years later and the same child is released. But to do what? He has missed everything. No one will hire him or rent to him and the obstacles these people face are sometimes insurmountable.

Let’s not fool ourselves that prison is for rehabilitation. It is not. Although there are programs that help them to re-enter society, they are few and far between. There is no standard way to make sure they all get a fair shot.

Through intensive research and relationships within the prison environment, the author has told the stories of some of the hundreds of thousands of people being released into a world that is now foreign to them. Some are incarcerated as kids and now released into a place where they have no skills, no transportation, no way to fulfill the requirements of being let out with little to no resources.

Some of them can’t take the pressure of the outside and all of its temptations and continually cycle in and out of jail/prison. They may be free, but they really aren’t. We judge them we don’t give them second chances, we send kids to private prisons who make a lot of money from them and give them little in the way of skills they can use on the outside.

We want justice but we should also be teaching people an alternative to their former lifestyle. We should be getting them mental health treatment, but we aren’t. Out of sight is out of mind. And while they may have done the crime and the time, what do they do now?

This was heartbreaking but a much-needed look at the facts.

NetGalley/: April 19th, 2022 by Sourcebooks



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