Aug 21, 2009

Books: A Question of Freedom

When he was sixteen, R. Dwayne Betts carjacked a man with a friend. He was a good student from a lower-middle-class family and had never held a gun before, but within a matter of minutes he had committed six felonies. He served his nine-year sentence as part of the adult population in some of the worst prisons in the state.

When he left prison, Mr. Betts went from community college to a full scholarship at the University of Maryland. He now runs a school poetry program for middle and high school students and has just released a new book called A Question of Freedom. We at Rethinking Reentry haven't had a chance to read it yet, but we were able to check out some press coverage of him.

Here's an interview he did with Tavis Smiley. Note how he owns up for his crime but is critical of the environment in which it was within his realm of experience to commit a carjacking. In this interview, he recites some of his poetry as well.

And here's an interview he did with Fox News.