Bright Minds in a Dark Place

Why are we warehousing our bright, strong youth? I rode the bus across the bridge with Nick, a librarian from the Brooklyn Public Library. Nick had generously invited me to join him as he took the library cart through the block on Riker’s Island occupied by young men in their teens and early twenties. I had with me a selection of the books donated by First Book to add to the cart. Nick was excited to see amongst the books I had a colorfully illustrated version of Homer’s Odyssey, as one of the young men had requested it at his last visit. Crossing the bridge I thought about Prison Writes blog contributor Justin Corney’s story of his first trip to Riker’s. While he had sat on the crowded

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