Days since my release from 26 years in prison: 17
Time I woke: 4:30 am
Journal of activities:
Today was my first day of teaching at San Francisco State University. I drove to the city and parked my car in a public garage at 9:30 this morning and then walked around the campus. First I stopped in the bookstore to make sure that the books I assigned to my students were in stock. I saw both Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Prison Term and Inside: Life Behind Bars in America on the shelf. I snapped a photograph and published it on Instagram. Then I walked to an administrator’s office, where I learned that I could pick up keys to my own office. I visited the gymnasium and made a plan to purchase a membership. Thousands of students walked around the campus, bringing a vibrant energy. I went to the food court to buy a sandwich, then I walked to the library and set up. I’m sitting in the library now, just before noon, as I type these words.
I see hundreds of students at the various tables around me. Later today my friend Tulio will stop by as he wants to sit through my first class. The class begins at 4:00 pm and lasts until 7:00 pm. I’m really enthusiastic to share all that I’ve learned about the prison system and to help those who enrolled in my class understand more about prisons in the United States.
Today we’ll talk about the origins of punishment in Western Civilization and how theories of punishment have evolved over the centuries to the present day. We will discuss several social philosophers, including Beccaria, Foucault, DeToqueville, and Bentham. Then we will discuss the evolution of the prison system in the United States, discussing the Jacksonian era known as Reformation. I’ll talk about the Quakers, the Pennsylvania system, and the New York system. Then I’ll discuss how reformers ushered in more enlightened policies designed to educate prisoners. I’ll then transition into the modern era of mass incarceration, which began with an article by John Martinson who wrote “Nothing Works.” We will discuss James Q. Wilson and perhaps John DiIulio. The students will not have had any reading assignments, so I will lecture and engage them during our first three-hour discussion. I’m looking forward to the experience of teaching my first class in a university. Good times ahead. I begin to teach in four more hours.
- Time: Walking all day at SFSU
- Lenght of time: 0
- Miles run today: 0
- Weather: Beautiful sunny day in San Francisco
- Consecutive days: 0
- Cumulative miles since day off: 0
- Pushups today: 0
- Cumulative pushups for month: 0
- Annual marathon tally: 6
I’m grateful that I completed my prison sentence and returned to society with so many magnificent opportunities.I feel as though I’m the most fortunate man alive.
Today is my first day of teaching at San Francisco State University. I’ll be meeting with all of the students who enrolled in my course, The Architecture of Imprisonment.
Links to publications: