prison for the first time in more than a year, Banks makes his way across the
parking lot to sign his release certificate. He carries with him bags of
clothing, school work and other personal items he has collected over the past
(continued from page 1)
prison, where he spent the past 12 months and four days. There, he was known to
some inmates as "valedictorian" for his quiet, well-spoken ways -- and the fact
that he could read at all.
of him was the street where Banks used to live the hustler life, the "a yo-boy
lifestyle of standing on the corners" that ultimately led to his drug and gun
going to stay clear of all the people who were a hindrance to me before. I'm
not going to let (my life) go down the tubes," Banks declared as he stood
outside the fence.
He was a
different man than the thug who was pictured in his prison mug shot from just a
year earlier. He was much different than the boy who used to dodge imaginary
bullets with his younger brother, using their mother's East Baltimore house as
the backdrop for a regular game of "policeman."
to be part of the solution," he said, remembering his childhood role as the
But by 13,
the "good cop" was smoking pot. By 14, he was selling cocaine.
"I forfeited my
childhood. I wanted to be older at a younger age. (I had) a dream of being an
adult," he said.
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Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism
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