“The United States imprisons a greater number and percentage of its own citizens than any other nation on earth; greater than Russia, China, Cuba or Iran.”
From his cage, James Castrillo of Maine writes in “Fourth City”: “I was blind to the reality that the path I was on leads nowhere, and fast ... Is this too great an obstacle to overcome? A part of me says, yes, there’s no sense in trying; it’s too hard, too late ...
“Another part of me, the strongest part, won’t quit. Wants to keep fighting. I think of how badly ... I want to make it in this world, the right way ... Can I overcome the disappointment that tests my sanity?
“Disappointment is useless in a place like this because it gets you nowhere.”
What Eric Holder and others are doing, says Errol Lewis, “adds up to the start of something big: a nation beginning to think outside the cell when it comes to crime and justice.”
As always, how big a change depends on you, the citizen voter.
(Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.)