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 …