The Sunday Read: ‘Kamala Harris, Mass Incarceration and Me’


At 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was sent to prison for nine years after pleading guilty to a carjacking, to having a gun, and to an attempted robbery.

“Because Senator Kamala Harris is a prosecutor and I am a felon, I have been following her political rise, with the same focus that my younger son tracks Steph Curry threes,” Mr. Betts said in an essay he wrote for The New York Times Magazine.

He had hoped that her presidential bid would be an opportunity for the country to grapple with the injustice of mass incarceration in a thoughtful way. Instead, he explained, the basic fact of her profession as a prosecutor was used by many as an indictment against her.

On today’s “Sunday Read,” listen to Mr. Betts’s exploration of his experiences with the criminal justice system, Kamala Harris and the conversations that America needs to have about mass incarceration.

This story was written and introduced by Reginald Dwayne Betts and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

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