Day 25 - First Steps: Welcome
"There are two people you always find in prison..."
James Baldwin, 1964
"There are two people you always find in prison: the man in the prison and the man who is keeping him there."
James Baldwin, “What Price Freedom?," 1964
Those who see you will stare at you,
and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who would not let his prisoners go home?’
The prophet Isaiah declares the downfall of the King of Babylon. Among the king’s acts of oppression is that he would not let the prisoners go home. What would it mean for us to let the prisoners go home? Baldwin helps us see that this is not just about freedom of the captives, but also the freedom of the captors. He challenges us to ask why we are so attached to locking people up and throwing away the key. He dares us to confront our fear, our judgment, and our need for power.
Rebuilding your life after time in prison can feel lonely and overwhelming. Assist with ex-prisoner re-entry programs in your area. Join a re-entry support team or donate to a local program that provides employment services to formerly incarcerated persons.
For a list of re-entry programs in your state, visit http://www.helpforfelons.org/reentry-programs-ex-offenders-state/