As Americans, we have inherited some pretty huge problems with our criminal justice system.

People of color face incarceration at disproportionate rates compared to white people, and many people go to jail or prison when they should be getting mental health treatment instead.

A lot of these problems remain under the radar because for many Americans, prisons are out of sight and out of mind. Lately, thanks to the hard work of activists, filmmakers like Ava Duvernay, and other advocates, criminal justice reform has been in the spotlight.

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When I sit on a pillow on my bedroom floor to meditate, the first thing I notice isn’t my breath, or a sense of peace, or my inner voice — it's the sound of cars zooming past my window.

Normally I can tune out the noises of the city. I have to. I live in the middle of an urban area, so at all moments of the day, I can close my eyes and listen to cars honking, brakes squealing, and airplanes flying overhead.

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Family

Freddie Fuller is a country and folk music singer-songwriter who has entertained audiences at venues in and around Austin, Texas. He has recorded two albums, created a one-man show on the history of the Texas cowboy, and even performed for troops overseas. But some of the most profound performances of his life have also been some of the smallest, quietest shows.

Freddie performs personalized, acoustic concerts for people who are dying.

For the last four years, Freddie has worked with a small nonprofit called Swan Songs to bring the gift of music to people facing terminal diagnoses. Freddie and other Swan Songs musicians have played over 500 intimate concerts as a celebration of life for people nearing death, as well as their loved ones.

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Heroes

5 myths about putting people in prison and what actually works.

Why putting people in prison might not be the best way to keep us safe.

I used to think the prison system was just a fact of life.

One of my relatives spent 10 years in prison when I was a kid, and I would visit him with my mom several times a year.

So as I grew up, I understood prison as just another place: You go to the grocery store when you need food, you go to church on Sundays, and you go to prison if you do something bad.

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