I have never met Anthony Papa, artist in residence and manager of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance. But I have read his articles and quotes on almost every media outlet that there is on the internet it seems like. Anthony Papa is a very hard working activist, and has a very compelling story. He served a long time in prison due to the war on drugs, and has worked his tail off since getting out to reform outdated, harmful drug laws across the country.
Anthony has a new book out that I’m hoping TWB readers will check out. I plan on ordering a copy, and hope you do to. Anthony Papa has done a lot to support reform, so I want to do what I can to support his efforts. Below is a description of the book, via Amazon (which is also where you can order a copy):
Open Letter to Men and Women Returning Home in the Age of Reform” will be the first book of its kind. It will tell a riveting, compelling story, with an arc as dramatic as my prison life. While it will be a heavily anecdotal work of narrative non-fiction, it will also help change the lives of many. It’s a much-needed book that will help millions of ex-convicts (and their families) know what to expect, to know—from an ex-convict’s firsthand experience—that they are not alone in what they are experiencing. It will offer a positive role model, inasmuch as I am an ex-convict who is part of the minority who never returned to prison. I go through heart-wrenching trials and tribulations as I seek to regain my lost roles as a father, husband and productive citizen, all while fighting to end the draconian drug laws that irrationally imprisoned me and many others.
I’ve had a lot of family members incarcerated at one point in time in their lives, and I’ve seen them have to make this transition. I wish they had this book, I’d imagine it would have helped made it easier. I have an uncle that just got out of prison for drug offenses, and I can’t wait to get him a copy of this book. Below is Anthony Papa’s bio, via the Drug Policy Alliance:
Anthony Papa is artist in residence and manager of media relations. He is an artist, writer, noted advocate against the war on drugs and co-founder of the Mothers of the New York Disappeared. Papa’s stinging editorials about the drug war have appeared in news sources across the country. He is a frequent public speaker and college lecturer on his art and criminal justice issues.
Papa is the author of 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom (2004), a memoir about his experience of being sentenced to state prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense under New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. He has been interviewed by a wide range of national print and broadcast media, includingThe New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now,” Court TV and “Extra,” among others. He has appeared on nationally syndicated talk shows such as CNN’s “Your Money,” “Charles Grodin,” “Geraldo Rivera,” and “Catherine Crier Live.” Papa’s art has been exhibited widely from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to many smaller cultural centers around the country.