12/30/2004
 
An American Family
Celeste Fremon of the LA Weekly has written a long article on the trials and tribulations of one "American Family." From drug raids to rehabilitation/salvation, the story is a good one and one that Celeste put in a year on. As a counselor, I know that people can and do change for the better, I hope Mr. Aguilar is one of them. Read the whole thing if you want to see writing at it's best. As Celeste notes:
The original idea behind the "An American Family" series was to examine the lives of one recent parolee and his family and, in so doing, look at issues and difficulties faced by other, similar families in urban centers all around the country. After all, in the United States of America, on any given day, there are more than 2 million men and women being held in state and federal prisons and jails. Eventually over 95 percent of those incarcerated will, like Luis, return to the community — 600,000 are returning in this year alone. Nearly one in five of those parolees will be returning to the streets of California.

Like Luis, most will face an immense number of institutional, psychological and societal barriers as they attempt to restart their lives. The majority, like Luis, have spouses and children who struggle right along with them during this repair process — or suffer without them, if they end up back in prison.

All this convinced my editors and me that, with the Aguilars, we had a story worth telling. We never imagined how complex that story would become.

Read the whole thing, it's time well spent.




Powered by Blogger