The Bubble Effect

The Bubble Effect

The United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave, often feels more like the land of the isolated and home of the cowardly tweet. We are more divided than at any point in my lifetime. It seems to be more than a mere lack of unity as an expression of...

Social Needia

Social Needia

When I came to prison, it was commonplace for people to meet up at someone's house for a get-together to watch the Super Bowl or simply hang out and converse. When it was someone's birthday and they lived quite a distance away, it was standard practice to call and...

Strength of Character

Strength of Character

Being incarcerated for any length of time can be a brutal, psychologically taxing experience. As of this writing, I am 40-years-old, and I have been incarcerated for 19 years, roughly 48% of my life. And while that may be eye-popping, it is important to remember that...

Don’t React – Respond! 

Don’t React – Respond! 

This past week came with one of the biggest shocks of my fifteen years of incarceration. My unit ('incentive housing' with extra privileges for those of us who have exhibited at least 18 months of clear conduct) was inspected by the administration. We had been duly...

Retribution vs. Rehabilitation

Retribution vs. Rehabilitation

What is the most effective approach to dealing with crime and punishment? Should the criminal justice system primarily be used to punish those who violate the law by sending them to prison for lengthy terms? Or should it rather serve as a mechanism for rehabilitation?...

Brotherly Love: A Letter of Gratitude

Brotherly Love: A Letter of Gratitude

Dear Twin Brother, I love you. I know you know that, but I feel it's important to explicitly reaffirm it from time to time. Where do I begin? I don't quite know, but there is so much in me that I want to express to you, so you'll know exactly what's in my heart....

Prison Party Politics

Prison Party Politics

If you are the type of person who doesn’t dwell on dreary details, you rarely consider prison unless it is to wish that an infamous cretin be sent there. Until I came to prison, I hardly thought anything of it. Bad people are stored in prisons until they achieve the...

Honoring My Victims Every Day

Honoring My Victims Every Day

We are pleased to share this Opinion Piece in The Oregonian by guest columnist and frequent AI blogger Martin Lockett. I had been drinking all day on New Year’s Eve of 2003 and then, had gone to a party to celebrate more. Later, as I drove my twin brother home, he...