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Think Out Loud

As We Are: Ex-Convicts

Pete Springer/OPB

What questions do you have for people who have spent part of their lives behind bars?

We’re beginning a new series of conversations this week called As We Are. This occasional series will focus on the voices of people who have hovered on the edges of many of our shows — people who are homeless or who live with mental illness, for example — and we’ll have hour-long discussions about their experiences.

This Friday we’ll begin by talking with three ex-convicts. We’ll ask them why they went to prison, what it was like and how living behind bars impacted each of their lives.

In a state where more than 13,500 people are incarcerated, plenty of Oregonians are affected by prisons — and prisoners — in one way or another. We’ve spoken about prison issues before, and taken a few calls from ex-convicts, but we’ve never had a discussion that focused on the voices of people who have committed crimes.

Have you or someone close to you ever been incarcerated? How did it affect your life? What questions do you have for people who have spent part of their lives behind bars?


  • Jacque: Released from Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in 2003 after serving two years for a drunk driving accident which left her passenger paralyzed
  • Charles: Released on parole eight weeks ago from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, where he served 12 years for manslaughter and drug charges
  • John: Released from Oregon?s Snake River Correctional Institution in 2005, after serving four years for sodomy and sexual abuse

Photo credit: Still Burning / Flickr / Creative Commons

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