Below is an excerpt from an interview with Ron Simpson, Lifer Intern with AFSC Michigan's Criminal Justice Program. To read the full interview, click here.
Q: What motivates you to do this work?
Ron Simpson: I see the need for it. Looking at corrections, they don’t pay enough attention to the type of people returning to our communities. You know, me being from the Black community, which is where most prisoners in Michigan come from, our communities are heavily impacted by these returning citizens.
And I call them “returning citizens,” because they end up coming back at one point or another. What happens, prisons have been in the business of warehousing people instead of trying to give them programs that help them become better citizens. So when they get out, they have very little skills, very little coping skills. And these same people become your neighbors, your church members, people dating your sisters, brothers, mothers, what have you.
So my interest in this is trying to improve our communities by addressing this end of things. You know, crime in our community is really committed by a very small percentage of people in the community. So prisoners are obviously part of that percentage, so if I can address at least some of their issues, then I can help the community.
To read the full interview, click here.