What I Learned From Being Sent to County Jail

The Realities Are Different From Prison—And Here's Why That Matters

ust before I started graduate school, I was arrested and spent a night in jail. I wrote in my journal about the experience, but I put it behind me and finished my first year of graduate study in sociology without further incident.

At the start of my second year, however, I was arrested and jailed twice more.

During that fall quarter, while my peers attended graduate seminars and held discussions about this theorist or that method, my life descended into a blur of constant court appearances. Between them, I maintained my single-father …

Why Food Vendors Belong in the Prison Yard | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Food Vendors Belong in the Prison Yard

My Fellow Inmates and I Support Local Businesses and Charities—And Make the Case for Deepening These Relationships

magine a big box. You sleep in the box. Eat in the box. Work in the box. Exercise in the box. Your view is confined to what fits inside and …

Can a Maximum-Security Prison Be a Place of Connection? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can a Maximum-Security Prison Be a Place of Connection?

How the Men in Pelican Bay State Prison Impact the Community Outside, One Another, and Inmates Across California

avid stands with his feet in the foamy water, his arms outstretched, smiling face turned up to the February sky. From where I’m standing among the driftwood, the line of …

California Needs an Agricultural Revolution

From the Ojai Valley, I Can See the State’s Post-Carbon Future—And It Looks Like the Ancient Past

The Ojai Valley in Ventura County is a magical place. Consider its elements: the sweet and intoxicating smell of California citrus blossoms in the spring, the open space preserved by …

Lettuce Lands Are Unlikely Vaccination Leaders | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why California’s Lettuce Lands Are Unlikely Vaccination Leaders

The Rural Salinas and Imperial Valleys Have Succeeded in Reaching the People the Rest of the State Can't Inoculate

If demographics and geography really were COVID destiny, then Gonzales—a small, working-class town with a young, overwhelmingly Latino population in rural California—would be a pandemic disaster.

Instead, Gonzales is among California’s …

Technology Is Not a Panacea for Struggling Schools

Sure, iPads Can Be Helpful, But They Can’t Create a Culture of Achievement

It’s still mystifying that in this time of limited educational funding, the people running the Los Angeles Unified School District were such an easy sell when it came to technology.

After …