“Felon” by Reginald Dwayne Betts was a collection of poems about incarceration as a Black man. It includes redaction poems of actual legal decisions and sentences of felons, many of which were imprisoned solely because of the bail system and not being able to make payments for bail.
This collection was revelatory of both the horrors of imprisonment, but also the afterlife upon release. It also tells of the self-sustaining cycle of some inmates who are imprisoned and then get into a fight, or are attacked, and even the sad reality of murders that occur in prison by lifers without anything to lose.
The mass incarceration of Blacks in America due to police profiling and harsher sentences levied against Black offenders due to prejudices and discrimination is an ongoing societal issue that requires an immediate response from the powers that be to turn the tide of racial discrimination that continues to persist even in the 21st century.
This collection of poems was powerful and poignant, especially in the current political and social climate.