the impact of a label

“we, the jury, find the defendant guilty.”

 

a decision made so quickly

determined the next four years

of my brother’s life.

 

at the time of the trial

i was six years old.

i still don’t know all the details of what happened,

but my brother’s felony conviction

has greatly influenced my academic pursuits.

 

in response to his conviction

i have rigorously pursued academic areas

that provided me with the tools to unpack

inequality,

race,

gender,

class

 

after graduating college

i began to consider what my graduate research would be.

how would it effect positive change?

 

i understood the ways a felonious conviction

could spread

to not only impact the convicted beyond their served time,

but also their families

for years and years to come.

 

i brainstormed.

possibilities to bring an end to this cycle?

so many variables sustain mass incarceration.

 

the best way to combat the cycle

is to provide resources and education

to the next generation of people facing imprisonment —

the children of the convicted.

 

this will help to ensure children are not confined

to a world dictated by their parents’ mistakes

or the institutions implemented against them.

 

this is the work i intend to do.

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