How did a smart kid end up in adult prison at age 16? And what did he learn once he got there? We explore profound questions about violence, freedom, crime, race, and the justice system with a former juvenile offender turned poet and teacher.

Listen to author Dwayne Betts read two of his poems.

Shahid Reads His Own Palm

A Different Route


  • Dwayne Betts Author "A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison" (Avery/Penguin); and Spokesperson, Campaign for Youth Justice
  • Vincent Schiraldi Director, D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

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