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Childhood Trauma and Incarceration

According to the Compassion Prison Project, 54% of female inmates and 60% of male inmates were physically abused as children. 52% of female inmates and 49% of male inmates were sexually abused. A whopping 70% of both male and females come from broken homes. (

You can't kick a dog repeatedly and expect that dog never to lash out. Nor can you expect an abused child to continue taking mistreatment without repercussions. Bottled up anger, frustration, and disillusionment have to come out eventually. Many of the individuals I interviewed for my book, The United States Injustice System, were physically or sexually abused as children.

Emad U Deen came to the United States from Jerusalem at the tender age of twelve. He envisioned America, the land of the free, as having streets lined with gold. A utopia of sorts where people of all ethnicities were accepted and all had equal opportunities. He and his siblings would reunite with their father who had come to the U.S. before them to secure a job and a home. Emad's mother would later join the family.

By the time his plane landed in Illinois, he had all but forgotten the abuse he had suffered by the hands of his father. Life in Jerusalem had not been easy. Soon he would face the fact that his father had not changed; the abuse he had heaped on Emad and his mother, rose to greater heights. He quickly found out that those not born in America were often bullied by other school children; Emad became the protector of his siblings and others of various ethnicities. Longing to be accepted, he took to the streets of Chicago. There he found what he had been hoping for, a brotherhood. In the end, his gang affiliation would lead to incarceration.

Today, Emad is a justice and social advocate. His journey is far from over. You can read more about him in my book and in his, Thee Jerusalem Gangster.

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