When Prison Is a Refuge, America's Messed Up

When Prison Is a Refuge, America's Messed Up 1

Pat Kinsella for The Chronicle Review

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Pat Kinsella for The Chronicle Review

"Prison saved my life."

Fifty-year old Robert says this earnestly, and I nod. I've heard this often from people who have been recently released from correctional institutions. I wait for him to tell me what prison saved him from.

"I was homeless at the time, and I was so glad to be off of the streets that it wasn't even funny. It was such a blessing to have a bed to lay down in every night regardless if I was incarcerated or not."

That,