I first became involved in the criminal justice system in 1976, when I was completing my graduate work in counseling psychology in Albany, New York. The last phase of the program required an internship—750 hours of fieldwork. The professor who taught the course, "Police & the Black Community," pulled me aside after class and told me he wanted to introduce me to a friend of his, Sam MacDowell. Sam was a black community activist who had spent two years in prison on trumped-up charges. The Commissioner of Corrections in New York knew of the injustice and on Sam's release made him head of volunteer services at Coxsackie Prison. We met, we talked, and he invited me to do my internship at his prison.
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