While serving what was supposed to be a life sentence in prison, Tyrone Werts was influential in bringing the The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to Graterford Prison. The program brings together college students and people serving time to learn from each other about crime, justice and other social concerns.
Three years ago, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa was at a hearing for a 29-year-old who’d been falling behind on his court bills. If he kept missing the payments he risked ending up in jail, so Lamancusa asked him what was going on. “He said he couldn’t get a job.
It would be wrong to say Aquil Bickerstaff was destined to end up dead or in prison. But like all black men of his generation, the odds were stacked against him. When he was born in 1985, to a working-class family in North Philadelphia, he entered a world that was becoming increasingly hostile to him.
Charles Thornton was a popular point guard at H.D. Woodson Senior High School, a nine-story concrete building in northeast Washington, D.C., which soon after opening acquired the nickname “Tower of Power.” It was the late 1970s, and this quick-moving kid who played for the youngest school in the District was ranked as an All-Metropolitan player, and among the top 100 in the country.