Baltimore Insider

Humans of New York features Cumberland prison inmates

Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton's latest project focuses on inmates in the United States prison system. Little did we know Stanton, who began his photography journey taking portraits of New Yorkers, would be making his way to Maryland.
The photographer has posted three pictures of inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland.

Among them: a 62-year-old inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland.

The unnamed man, who said he grew up in the streets of Baltimore, has spent more than half of his life in prison for selling heroin.
"I had forty people working for me. If you were to ask me thirty-four years ago what it was going to be like in prison, I couldn’t have imagined," the man said. "It’s been the same thing every day. Everyone I care about is gone. My mother passed. My father passed. My brother and sister. If I look backwards, I’ll lose my mind."
But the inmate’s post reveals that he has made strides to improve himself and showed remorse. According to the man, he has taken self-help programs and is a lead facilitator for the Men of Influence program, which teaches entrepreneurship and behavioral and financial management skills to men at the Cumberland prison.
"I’m sorry if I caused generations behind me to go astray. It wasn’t my intention to bring pain to the community," he said. "And I really think that when I’m released I can be an asset to society."

The post alone has garnered more than 300,000 likes during a time when mass incarceration in the country has caused a stir in national news and the presidential debates.


Photos and text from two other inmates were posted Monday and Thursday.

See the post and HONY’s latest project here.