About the Project
From the Numbers is a storytelling project that lifts up the voices of formerly incarcerated people. Our storytellers’ lived experiences transformed them, and they now make positive contributions to their communities every day.
In Michigan, the dominant narrative holds that long prison sentences provide the severe, long-term punishment that is deserved. The narrative reinforces an us vs them mentality and creates a caste of “others” that law-abiding citizens need protection from.
One in three people in America has some sort of a criminal record, whether it is a traffic misdemeanor or a serious felony. Even so, many people have never met someone who has been to prison – much less seen the inside of a prison themselves. The U.S. has the largest incarcerated population in the country – both in terms of raw numbers and per capita, but for many people, all they know about prisons and incarcerated people is what they see in movies and on television.