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Published on May 25, 2017
This talk illuminates two important differences between the American and Norweigan prison systems; the principle of normalcy and the role of the prison guard. In light of her primary research, Thomas argues that our punitive approach to prison we will continue to churn out toxicity but change is possible and solutions are available if we learn from the example of others.
I discovered my passion for prison reform when I spent four months in Winnebago County Jail awaiting a bond reduction hearing. In August 2011, I was arrested in connection with the overdose death of my best friend. I was a passenger in his vehicle when he purchased the heroin that would later kill him. In jail I became intimately acquainted with the criminal justice system, jail culture, and the plight of the prisoner. That experience profoundly changed the direction of my life. Upon release, I made it my life’s mission to use my experiences to help others, specifically prisoners and addicts.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx