Poetry, prison, and criminal justice reform

Poet and lawyer Reginald Dwayne Betts talks about how his years in prison lead him to poetry and criminal justice reform.

Listen 49:00
(photo credit, Mamadi Doumbouya)

(photo credit, Mamadi Doumbouya)

Guest: Reginald Dwayne Betts

REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS is a poet and a lawyer, two professions he came to through an unusual route–prison. He was incarcerated in an adult prison for a crime he committed when 16. But something surprising happened; he discovered the power of poetry while in solitary confinement. He then graduated from Yale Law School and now focuses on how mass incarceration effects society as spokesman for The Campaign for Juvenile Justice. Betts has written a memoir and now has a new book of poetry titled Felon, where he writes in personal and poignant ways about the difficulty of reentry from prison and how he is haunted by his crime. [from the Radio Times archives]

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