Student pens NY Times op-ed: The Prison ‘Old-Timers’ Who Gave Me Life

By: Darnell Epps '21,  in The New York Times
Fri, 10/05/2018

In this New York Times opinion piece, sophomore Darnell Epps writes about the time he and his brother spent in prison and the older inmates who looked out for them.  

"Soon enough, we followed the lead of those old-timers. We mentored younger inmates," Epps writes. "We were co-chairmen of the Youth Assistance Program, where we re-enacted our crime and relayed our life experiences to young men, many on probation or taking part in diversion programs, which offer young offenders alternatives to criminal prosecution."

Epps is a government major in the College of Arts & Sciences.

"Evidently, the notion that convicted felons can ascend from the lowest depths of maximum security to the Ivy League is counterintuitive," he writes.  "But I’m quick to deny that Darryl and I are somehow exceptional. In prison, we shined because of, not despite, our circumstances, especially the presence of the “old-timers” who helped guide us to our coming-of-age. We owe them tremendous credit."

Read the entire piece here.

Darnell Epps