I Don't Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine
Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup
Beacon Press 2010
It is easy to dismiss juveniles in prison as “bad seeds”, as people with which we have nothing in common, and of which we want only distance. David Chura, however, did not maintain his distance, and has been working with at-risk kids for other 40 years. His new book, I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup (Beacon Press, 2010), is a collection of stories from the time he taught kids in a New York County jail. These narratives paint a picture of children who have been abused, neglected, and chronically disappointed by those in their lives and in the justice and foster system. Chura exposes a number of issues in the justice system and in society at large which contribute greatly to the outcome of these kids’ lives, and seeks to inform us that far from simply being “bad”, the gulf between these children and ours are mainly due to circumstances, not to personality or inborn traits. Chura shares stories that we rarely hear, of a world we barely know, in order to give a voice to those who are often silenced.