The Nation: VIEWS FROM BEHIND BARS

Harold MacEwen, 34, was paroled from Stateville prison in Illinois after serving 12½ years for killing an off-duty cop during an armed robbery. "The crime itself was inexcusable," says MacEwen, who is studying for his M.A. in psychology and works for the Illinois Department of Corrections. "But I was 20, and what I was also holds true for most young whites and blacks in ghetto slum areas. We would classify each other, and then we would have to live up to the classification. I thought I was hip, in the know, wise, and umpteen...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!