Chances are impeccably high that if you’re reading this right now, you’re not currently serving a prison sentence. I’ll even go one step further and say that it’s likely you never have and never will. While it’s probably difficult to imagine what it must be like inside of a prison cell, there are probably a few words that come to mind rather quickly: Isolated. Cold. Grim. Unforgiving. Disheartening. And now, as difficult as prison would be to face as an adult, think of what it would be like to face an eight-year sentence at an adult maximum-security prison for a 15-year-old boy.
Who Is Marcus Bullock?
If you haven’t heard about Marcus Bullock, prepare to be WOW’d. I learned his story—and about his involvement with the Second Chance Act—because I happened to have the news on in my office when he began speaking at the White House. Needless to say, it was a very cool moment. Click on the link and watch the video. It’s not often you hear someone say, “When I was in cell C12 I never thought I would be standing at a podium at the White House!”
When he was 15, Marcus made a tragic mistake—he, alongside a friend, stole a car at gunpoint. It was surprising being that he was from a good family, always had straight A’s, and had only ever been considered by the adults in his life a good kid. So this awful choice got him sentenced to eight years in adult maximum security. He served his time and reentered society as a young man in his twenties with only a ninth grader’s education. You can see the path this story—and many stories like it—would take. Hardened from prison armed with anger and resentment and little education, Marcus easily could have returned to prison again and again—or faced an even more tragic end.
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