– Jordan Russoff
Today was bittersweet because although it was our first full day in Chicago, it was also our first full day away from the people who stayed twenty-two days. We started our day speaking with people who work at the John Howard Association, which focuses on prison reform in America. I never knew what went on beyond the gates of a prison, and was surprised when learning how terrible the prisoners were treated and their living conditions. Gwyneth Troyer, the director of the Prison Monitoring Project, said something that really impacted me and opened up my mind to the topic. She said “When I first started working here I thought correction and rehabilitation…but now I hope that they at least don’t come out worse then they came in.” This shocked me because in this county we focus more on keeping the “bad” people off the streets and don’t really pay attention to what happens to them when placed in the prison.
After talking about prison reform in America we went and did what Chicago does best. We tried the famous deep dish pizza at a place called Lou Malnati’s, and it was delicious.
On a full stomach we traveled to the Chicago Art Institute where we had free time to look at the exhibits.
I had the opportunity to see many exhibits ranging from Indian and Southeast Asian art, to modern art and photography. Then we went to Grant park and talked about the 1968 riots, and after relaxed by Lake Michigan.
We ended our night by watching live improv comedy and resting at the hotel.