My parents were incarcerated when I was a baby. Now I’m a lawyer working to fix the system

My freshman year at Yale I got a letter from my biological father with unwelcome news. He had a new neighbor, my childhood friend Lorenzo.

They were on the same cell block in maximum-security prison. Lorenzo’s imprisonment felt like fate. We came from different worlds: He was poor, black and an immigrant, while I was upper middle class, white and U.S.-born. As a black man, he had a 1 in 3 chance of serving time at some point in his life. What we had in common, however, was a significant risk factor for incarceration: Lorenzo and I became friends over many years of visiting our mothers behind bars. For him the odds played out.


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  • La Times
    published this page in News 2019-04-08 12:57:14 -0700