Darius Clark Monroe’s Film, Evolution of a Criminal, and Thoughts on College After Incarceration

Last week I participated in a panel discussion following the screening of a film called Evolution of a Criminal, by Darius Clark Monroe. The film was a self-made documentary about Darius Clark’s decision to rob a bank where he held several of its customers at gunpoint, and it tracks his life as an aspiring filmmaker as he confronts his criminal past, faces the victims of the robbery, and comes face to face with resentment, forgiveness, redemption and uncertainty. I thought it was a compelling, heart wrenching film. Continue reading

After Prison, How Much Help Is Too Little or Too Much?

I spent some time talking to a dear friend who spent 20 years in prison. When he became incarcerated he was 20 years old. He has been home for five years. We spoke at length about how long it takes a person to reintegrate after incarceration. It was difficult for him to give me a clear-cut answer to this complex question. Continue reading

Now That I am Out Of Prison, When Will I Stop Feeling Caged?

It’s a new year, and I’ve been home for two years now, yet I still find myself unable to sit with myself. I still don’t go home until I know I’m exhausted and ready for bed. I still feel like an energizer bunny every time my feet hit the floor in the morning. When is it gonna end? I keep telling myself that this will change when I move into a larger space. Right now the space I’m living in is small. It’s cozy, but there’s not much space to move around. In fact, it’s one room. When I move, I plan to create an oasis in my “living room.” I want candles burning, fresh flowers permeating, soft music playing, and Continue reading

I’m Not Who I Use To Be

On Christmas Day I had the opportunity to see one of my sisters for the first time in over two decades. She lives three hours away from where I am based in Washington, DC. I never saw her while I was incarcerated, and even though I was released in 2011, she was not able to come to see me until now. When she walked into my mom’s house, I screamed, hugged her and asked jokingly, “Where have you been all my life?” She replied Continue reading