Talent can be found everywhere

September 1, 2021 Articles, Letters
A letter to the Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW). IN RESPONSE TO:  PRISON TEACHING INITIATIVE HELPS INCARCERATED STUDENTS EARN DEGREES   I went through the criminal justice system in Toronto when I was a teenager. Luckily I have no criminal record by grace of laws pertaining to young offenders in Canada. I was supposed to have spent six months in juvenile jail but was fortunate enough to have been sentenced to community service in lieu of prison time. Nevertheless, I did spend a brief period behind bars as part of that process. Most of the people in my prison block were childhood friends and friends of friends. (I grew up at a time when youth gangs were prevalent.) All were definitely street savvy, if not book smart. Indeed, many of the people in detention with me seemed just as sharp minded as people I would go on to meet a decade later as a graduate student at Princeton. Professor Jeff Dolven noted in the article (“Prison Teaching Initiative Helps Incarcerated Students Earn Degrees,” June 2021) that “much intelligence and talent and imagination is locked up in prisons.” I would add also that for the most part the talent is also wasted…




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