Saturday, January 17, 2009

Visiting Day

Last Sunday's New York Times Magazine featured a touching story by Binnie Kirshenbaum. She writes about a train trip to visit her mother, but the trip takes her through psychological as well as physical terrain. On it she has an epiphany: for some visiting a mother is far different than her trip, which will include brunch and browsing antiques. Far more people than she realized will visit their mothers in prison. Over one percent of our nation's citizens are incarcerated. If each one has on average 9 friends and family members, that means that 10 percent of America is touched by this high level of incarceration. Those not so directly affected suffer, too, through the expense of incarceration and its ineffectiveness.

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