* Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich writes about prison reform, but of course he makes it mostly about himself…
Before my arrest and retrial, my life was the American dream.
Growing up, I had shined shoes, worked in a slaughterhouse, worked on the Alaskan oil pipeline, and delivered pizzas. I went to law school, I was a prosecutor for two years, I served in the Illinois House, the U.S. Congress, and was twice-elected governor. I won 14 elections in a row.
My gubernatorial administration made historic progress in Illinois on women’s and children’s healthcare. We opened free preschool to every 3- and 4-year-old. We also reduced repeat crimes by ex-offenders. My initiative, “Inside Out,” provided better access to education, job training, substance abuse treatment and counseling services to inmates and parolees. This led to the lowest conviction rate among parolees in Illinois history; a reduction in arrests among the parolee population; and reductions in repeat incarceration among parolees with substance abuse issues. The dramatic drop in recidivism even saved the state of Illinois $64 million in incarceration costs over a four-year span from 2004 to 2008.
Today however, I am living the reverse American dream – a bad dream that I share with other inmates at a prison in Colorado where I am currently serving a 14-year sentence. So what happened?
He got caught. That’s what happened. Anyway, he does make a few good points, so click here if you’re inclined.