- Northampton, Massachusetts, United States
- March 21
- Teacher, youth advocate, author of "I Don't Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Kids in Adult Lockup" (Beacon Press).
MY RECENT POSTS
- Hard Facts about Prison Sexual
January 25, 2013 11:13AM
- Poor Kids and Education
September 24, 2012 01:52PM
- The Harm We Do: Kids in
September 07, 2012 11:58AM
- Seeking Justice and Real Crime
July 31, 2012 07:05AM
- In Our Toxic Prison System, is
There Room for Hope?
July 09, 2012 12:22PM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “I hasten to add that
that "average stay" was for
September 17, 2012 11:50AM
- “I agree. These kids are
kind of non-people. Since they
young they are even
September 09, 2012 09:52AM
- “Your comment is so apt:
"I didn't know solitary
was so widely
September 07, 2012 05:37PM
- “William Dean Meyers is a
great advocate for at risk
through his writing.
July 31, 2012 09:29PM
- “Thanks for a piece that
showed some of the
July 14, 2012 04:00PM
David Chura's Links
It’s an optimistic headline: “Prison Rape: Obama’s Program to Stop It”. It leads into a comprehensive New York Review of Books article on three recently released Federal government publications. Two of these documents examine sexual abuse in the nation’s detention… Read full post »
I met Amber at a tutoring program for inner city children. It was 1966, my senior year in high school, and the war on poverty was on, a war we’ve failed to win.
At nine years old Amber looked like a scarecrow, an old scarecrow at that,… Read full post »
When most Americans hear the familiar constitutional phrase “cruel and unusual punishment” they can tell you what it means, at least to them. Hanging. Flogging. Chopping a hand off. Chain gangs.
Putting juvenile offenders in solitary confinement is high on my list of “cruel and… Read full post »
“You don’t care about the victims. All you care about are those kids.”
It was a comment I’ve heard in one form or another at book events, at juvenile justice talks I’ve given, or in response to pieces I’d written about our national policy of retribution towards tr… Read full post »
I didn’t expect my talk to a class of criminal justice majors at a local community college to be any different from the other workshops, presentations and classes I’d done. The students had read my book for class. I figured I’d talk about the book, about my 10 years teaching high… Read full post »
Like most teachers I’ve gotten some praise from my high school students over my 26 years of teaching—a lesson “wasn’t bad,” or a particular class was “sorta interesting.” I’ve even been told that I was a “pretty good teacher.” High praise co… Read full post »
Arizona’s legislature recently passed a law charging prison visitors a onetime $25 fee as a way to help close the state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit. Middle Ground Prison Reform, a prison advocacy group, challenged the law in court as a discriminatory tax, but a county judge upheld its c… Read full post »
If anyone doubts that the young people locked up in our jails are children they should spend some time in one of those prisons around holiday time.
I did just that for the 10 years I taught high school students, some as young as fifteen, in an adult county jail,… Read full post »
It was like a giant switchboard, the kind you see in 30s and 40s movies, a bevy of operators plugging in a crisscross of wires, taking calls, making connections, a cacophony of chatter.
That image came to me recently as I walked into the lobby of the MassMutual Center in… Read full post »
There’s been some good news in the media lately for anyone who cares about kids and justice. Federal statistics show that the number of juvenile offenders in jail has dropped by at least 25%. Along those same lines, the New York Times recently reported that New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman… Read full post »
It was a busman’s holiday. 30 people in a room, all teachers in high school and GED programs in various prisons from across New York State, listening to me talk about teaching locked up kids. The conference was in Saratoga Springs with lots of other things to do. Yet there they… Read full post »
In a six by eight foot jail cell there’s barely room for a bunk, a seatless toilet, and a postage-sized sink. The only other space you have in jail is in your head, and even that gets crowded with all the people you carry around in there who you resent for… Read full post »
Now that all the high school graduations are over and the backyard barbeques celebrated, I’m finally coming down from the contact high of all that youthful exuberance and optimism.
It’s easy to get swept up into those good feelings. But now as I move into summer’s quieter months,… Read full post »
The only people who think it’s fun to do book promotion and events are the ones who haven’t written a book, at least in my experience. I hear it all the time from friends and family. “How exciting!” “I wish I could do something like that.”