In February of 2012, Jamal Faison was a 20-year-old college sophomore home on school break in New York City when he, along with a group of friends, was arrested for attempting to steal mobile devices from a subway rider. Jamal maintains he wasn’t involved in the robbery.
Following the arrest, Jamal spent eight months on Rikers Island. While there, his uncle, Born Blackwell, visited almost weekly. Four years later, Jamal and Born talked about the night he was released from jail.
Jamal and Born’s conversation was recorded through the StoryCorps Justice Project, which preserves and amplifies the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. The Justice Project is made possible, in part, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge, #RethinkJails, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
Listen to Jamal and Born’s original StoryCorps interview and learn a little more about Jamal’s life since returning home.