From Playground To Cell


The hand rings on the school’s jungle gym look frighteningly like handcuffs.

I wonder how many of the children who play here will grow up to join the 2.5 million people incarcerated in the US.

Such a statistic ranks this nation’s prison population the highest in the world, more than so called undemocratic regimes. This number does not include the 4.7 million persons who are on probation or parole.

That is almost 1/4 of the American population that is incarcerated, on parole, or on probation annually.

Of those who are incarcerated, more than 60% are of racial or ethnic minorities.

My friends, this must not be.

Our hands must be open to help a child cross over the difficulties of today lest these rings become the manacles of tomorrow.

Midweek Essays appear every Wednesday (unless the Muse takes a week off). Please see the publication schedule for more information.

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