Handcuffed to Freedom

Knowing Yourself w/ Rafael Batain

August 15, 2020

Rafael spent 19 years in prison, starting at age 14, and today he is a business owner, community organizer, youth mentor, criminal justice advocate, founder of Tucson’s IF project, and has even been invited to the White House for his work. The craziest part? He accomplished all this in FIVE years! He got out of prison only five years ago.

 

As he shares his journey of growing up in prison, trying to find his identity, and “killing himself” to survive, it gets raw. “There’s no way a logical, thinking mind can go into prison and come out sane.” He got out at 24, a grown ‘man’, and without the right help and resources he ended up reoffending. His turning point came during his second prison sentence when he found ‘Raf’ again.

 

Our talk covers resources that are available to people getting out, advice for family members welcoming home a loved one (throw that Sundae on the floor!), and the importance of staying ‘hungry’ and surrounding yourself with people who inspire you.

Some great quotes from the episode:

“Same way I was fearless for the wrong things is same way I’m fearless for the right things.”

“You have to know who you are.”

It’s not “what can the community give to us.” It’s “what can we add.”

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