Tag: Ex-Convicts

The Secret Jailhouse Garden of Rikers Island

Set incongruously in the middle of Rikers Island’s post-apocalyptic landscape of low-slung jail blocks and razor wire is a lush garden, teeming with birds and butterflies, that seems to have been teleported down from some happier planet. “That’s my baby,” said Mike Cruz, a stocky young man who is serving time at Rikers. He was […]

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A New Wave of Caregivers: Men

Third of three articles. Read the first article, on paid family leave, here, and the second, on state child support, here. When you hear the word “caregiver,” what image comes to mind? Most likely it is a woman in her 40s — someone tucking her children in with a phone call to her aging mother […]

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I Killed My Partner. It Saved My Life.

In the early hours of Sept. 15, 2010, my children and I were sound asleep when my partner arrived at our home in Brooklyn drunk after a night out, and flew into a violent rage. For years I had endured verbal abuse, beatings, sexual assault. That night as he punched me in the head over […]

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Next Arena for Criminal Justice Reform: A Roof Over Their Heads

NEW ORLEANS — When Thad Tatum was released from a Louisiana prison after serving 28 years for armed robbery and the attempted murder of a police officer, he found his trials were far from over. Mr. Tatum, who has used a wheelchair since he was stabbed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, has had to prove […]

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An Ex-Convict Got a Construction Job, but Not Everyone Was Happy

After his second stint in prison — two years on possession of drugs with intent to sell — Andre Chesson needed a job. It had been around a decade since Mr. Chesson had blown an opportunity with Local 79, New York’s biggest laborers’ union. But his parole officer had a suggestion for how to get […]

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Why Are Florida Republicans So Afraid of People Voting?

Coral Nichols will be eligible to vote when she’s 190. That’s assuming the 40-year-old Floridian — who served five years in prison for fraud and embezzlement, followed by nearly 10 years on probation — is able to keep up with her $100 monthly restitution payments. Jermaine Miller thought he had fully repaid the $223.80 he […]

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Let the People (of Florida) Vote

This article is part of David Leonhardt’s newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it each weekday. Winning civil rights is never easy. The fight can stretch on for decades and include setbacks that feel like utter defeat. An enduring lesson of the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century is the need for […]

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Every D.A. in America Should Open a Sentence Review Unit

What can we do to shrink our prison population, the world’s largest? Most answers to that question point forward: They look to reduce future arrests, prosecutions and sentences. But such changes, while desperately needed, do nothing for the hundreds of thousands of people who are already serving long sentences in America’s expensive and overcrowded prison […]

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A Murderer Deemed Too Old for Violence Was Just Convicted of Another Killing

A murderer with a long history of violence against women — but who had been freed from prison and deemed unlikely to hurt anyone again because of his advancing age — was convicted by a jury in Maine this week in the stabbing death of a mother of twin boys. It took the jury less […]

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For Inmates Released Under New Criminal Justice Reforms, ‘Every Day Counts’

Robert Shipp was sitting in a West Virginia prison when his father got sick and slipped away in a Chicago hospital. His father’s death in 2012 served as another reminder to Mr. Shipp, 46, of how thick the prison walls were and how much he had missed since he was 21, when he was sentenced […]

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Prison for Life. He Turned Himself Around. So I Freed Him.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — In January 1999, Robert Clarence Potts III was sentenced to life in prison. He was 28, and had been convicted of drug and weapons charges. The federal judge sentencing him seemed to express some regret at the gravity of the penalty. But under the law at the time, Mr. Potts […]

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Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway.

A strange thing happened when Jeffrey Epstein came back to New York City after being branded a sex offender: His reputation appeared to rise. In 2010, the year after he got out of a Florida prison, Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos dined at his Manhattan mansion with a British royal. The next year, Mr. Epstein […]

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De Blasio Is on the Wrong Side of Gun Prosecution Reforms

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York took a break from his long-shot presidential campaign this week to attack a program in Brooklyn that keeps young people who’ve been convicted of having an unlicensed gun out of prison. It was a strange move. Brooklyn’s diversion program is doing good, not harm, the evidence shows. It’s […]

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A ‘Second Chance’ After 27 Years in Prison: How Criminal Justice Helped an Ex-Inmate Graduate

BALTIMORE — Maurice Smith stood anxious and alone, as the crowd of graduates around him hugged and chatted a few feet away. He was cloaked in the same black gown and donned the same black cap, but that was about all that he and the rest of Goucher College’s Class of 2019 had in common. […]

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Florida Limits Ex-Felon Voting, Prompting a Lawsuit and Cries of ‘Poll Tax’

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed into law on Friday significant restrictions to the recently restored voting rights of people with felony convictions, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the state hours later. The new law requires people with serious criminal histories to fully pay back fines and fees to the […]

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How Convicts Ordered to Stay Offline Try to Slip Their Digital Leashes

When John Walker Lindh, a California man, was sentenced in 2002 for helping the Taliban, neither Facebook nor YouTube existed. If you had a cellphone — and only about 60 percent of Americans did — it was probably a flip phone. Before Mr. Lindh was released from prison on Thursday, his probation officer asked the […]

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Want a Job but Have a Record? Who Cares? You’re Hired.

If you want a job at Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, N.Y., just north of the Bronx, it’s yours. There’s no background check, drug test, credit check or call to references. Greyston won’t even interview you. You just go into the bakery and put your name and contact information on a list. When a job comes […]

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