Reaction to Reginald Berry Speech

This speaker was very helpful in understanding what a person goes through when incarcerated.  I thought that he was very honest and answered our questions truthfully.  For instance, I remember him mentioning that he had a good relationship with the warden at one of the institutions he was in.  He didn’t just “bad mouth” the prison system, he kind of gave us both sides-which enhances credibility.  He also seems to be very family oriented.  I can’t imagine how difficult 18 years of imprisonment could have been with an entire family on the outside.  I think that he’s extremely fortunate to have family support.  He mentioned that his wife took an entire month off of work once he was released in order to get him acclimated to life outside of prison.  Imagine how the world has changed in the 18 years he was incarcerated! He was incarcerated in approximately 1988.  I was almost 3 years old! Now I’m almost 22!  Just think about how much has changed since then.

It is great that he’s working to change his community.  It shows that someone does not have to spend life in prison without parole in order to change or realize that what he was doing was not the right way.  I think that this speaker was perfect for what we’re striving to accomplish in this class.  What was everyone’s reaction to his presentation?  Personally, the pictures were great because they allowed us to see how drastically things can change.  At one point you think that you have it all-and in a split second everything turn 180 degrees.   I’m sure that his transition was difficult, but it looks like he’s managing.  I don’t think that everyone that leaves prison is as lucky.

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3 Responses

  1. I found Reginald to be quite an inspiration. Of course we all make mistakes, some of us to a greater degree, but he did what a lot of people seem unable to do. He learned from his mistakes and is now using his experiences to try and steer kids away from the road he took. Not only this, but it takes a very strong person to be able to tolerate prison, let alone maintain their sanity in a supermax facility. I do think that the fact that he had such a supportive family on the outside and the bonds he made with guards played a huge role in him turning his life around. Hearing his story, really made me think about my life and how much I have to appreciate.

  2. Reginald’s speech was very inspirational, but I can’t imagine how inspirational one of the speeches at the schools he goes to would be. To see him walk into the school in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit would be scary. I think the way he gives these speeches is so appropriate. It will scare the children in the beginning and then provide some insight into his life and how much they will mess theirs up if they continue the way he did.

  3. I think Reginald Berry as an individual deserves an enormous amount of respect, and is living proof that criminals can reform. I was glad to hear that he returned to his family. Unstable family conditions often lead to children participating in crime. His role in the organization Saving our Sons should also be commended. His leadership in an organization like this helps to stop the cycle of family members entering prison.

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