This morning on NPR’s Morning Edition came the story of a landscaper in Chicago and one of her employees, an ex-con. Take a listen (about 5 minutes). It’s always different to hear the story from the person who has served time directly. I often find myself thinking — he doesn’t sound anything like I imagined he would. And that’s because you can’t actually imagine one man’s time on the inside. Only he has served it. Only he can tell how it has shaped his life.

And hat’s off to the woman who hired him, who gave him a chance. One of the biggest struggles for an ex-con is to actually reestablish a life upon release.  It is society’s expectation that he will come out and be “productive”. It is society’s reality that no one wants to ex-con in their office, living in their neighborhood, eating at their restaurants.


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