Twenty years ago, a woman was driving down the highway with her three young children safely secured in their car seats. The car approached a sign alerting drivers, “DO NOT PICK UP HITCH-HIKERS. PRISON FACILITY. Without thought, she quickly reached for the lock button to assure herself that all the locks were engaged.
Within minutes they passed a crew of men dressed in orange prison jumpsuits picking up debris. Her immediate reaction was to warn her kids, “You guys see those men in the orange clothes, they are dangerous people.” Without thought, she was passing on what her parents had told her and what the media had brainwashed the world to believe. People who are or have been in prison are bad people.
Five years later this same woman stood in front of a federal court judge and was sentenced to three years for a white-collar crime she had committed.
Months later, she walked into the prison’s crowded visitation room wearing an orange jumpsuit. She saw her children sitting still with fright in their eyes. As she neared them her youngest rushed to her side and said, “Momma, you are a dangerous person.”
What could she say, after all this is what she had told them about people in orange jumpsuits.