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Reginald Dwayne Betts

Author and Spokesperson

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a husband and father of two sons. As a poet, essayist and national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, Betts writes and lectures about the impact of mass incarceration on American society. In 2011, Betts was awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship to Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. Betts was recently appointed by the White House to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The author of the memoir, A Question of Freedom (Avery/Penguin 2009), and the collection of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010), Betts’ work possesses a careful, complicated and often difficult-to-confront intimacy that challenges conventional ideas about crime, masculinity and redemption. In 2010 he was awarded an NAACP Image Award for A Question of Freedom and a Soros Justice Fellowship to complete The Circumference of a Prison, a work of nonfiction exploring the criminal justice system's role in the every day lives of Americans who have not committed crimes.