Outside The Gates

THIS YEAR THE NATION'S PRISONS WILL RELEASE MORE THAN 630,000 PEOPLE--A NEW RECORD. AMANDA RIPLEY FOLLOWS ONE MAN'S STRUGGLE TO STAY

On a bright February morning in Harlem, Jean Sanders shook Bill Clinton's hand. Just one week out of prison, Sanders had risen early and put on a suit to come uptown from Brooklyn and apply for low-income housing--one of the first stops after scratch for former felons starting over. Clinton happened to be looking for office space in the same building that day. Plunging into the frenzy of cameras and adoring well-wishers, Sanders jostled and sweet-talked his way to the front of the throng and welcomed the former President to the neighborhood. It was hard to say who was more thrilled...

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