We Must Teach Kids About Prison

R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy writes eloquently in Ebony that blacks must engage young people in open and honest discussions about prison in order to help them avoid getting ensnared in the life.

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R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy writes eloquently in Ebony that blacks must engage young people in open and honest discussions about prison in order to help them avoid getting ensnared in the life.

Sadly, the United States has become the leader of incarceration in the world and it is incarceration that is undoing the sanctity of our communities. not books. Unfortunately, if we don’t begin to prepare children and adults for what has become the virtual inevitability of dealing the prison system, we’ll be attempting to live in a fairy tale. We have come to the point where real life non-fiction is necessary for children and adults.

About a year ago, I learned that a classmate, Ahmariah Jackson, from my college days was co-authoring a book. This didn’t surprise me, as he was one of the most critically astute brothers I encountered at Morehouse. But when I learned that the book was on surviving prison, I was caught off guard. Ahmariah Jackson and I Atomic Seven's book "Locked Up but Not Locke Down: A Guide to Surviving the American Prison System" is a crash course in surviving the judicial gauntlet from arrest to post-release. Both Jackson and Atomic share accumulated wisdom on what to eat, not to eat, who to speak with, who to avoid, how to remain sane, etc. using information collected from surveys with a number of prisoners at different levels of imprisonment ... including Jackson himself.  In the beginning of the book Jackson reflects, "As a Morehouse College grad with a good, solid background and a promising future, I found myself in the belly of a beast I had never dreamed of meeting." Their book is not a road map to going to prison, instead it is a map of how to get out and stay out of the prison industrial complex.

Read R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy's entire piece at Ebony.com.

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