Aug 7, 2019

there really are changes

Q: In your National Magazine award-winning New York Times Magazine article you chronicled the difficulties previously-incarcerated individuals face in overcoming societal stigma and getting a second chance. Do you see this dynamic changing anytime soon, and if so, how?

A: The dynamic changes daily. But the real change is going to come when we become more invested in answering the question of what we should demand from people who have harmed others, people who have committed crimes, and a system that doesn’t seem bent on making anyone whole. But there really are changes on an almost weekly basis, even if it’s just the change that happens when a person gets from the start of a poem to the end of one.

Reginald Dwayne Betts, in his recent interview for New America’s The Fifth Draft