Carmelo Anthony recently took a visit to Rikers Island to connect with inmates, and, impacted by his time there, has made a call for prison reform.
According to NY Daily News, Carmelo shared moments from his visit in the latest installment of his Web video series with Vice Sports. He was shocked by what he saw.
“The dormitory was mind-boggling. It was like a big sleepover. I think they said it’s 32 people in there,” he said in the video. “It’s no division. So you’re sitting in there, you’re eating in front of everybody, you’re changing your clothes in front of everybody. That s–t is sad.” He was able, however, to speak to some of the inmates, giving them encouragement and advice to make it through.
Watch the entire video below
Carmelo claimed that Correction Department officials who gave him the tour hid certain areas from him. “They didn’t want us to see a lot of this, they didn’t want us to see a lot of s–t,” Anthony said. “And they did that on purpose.” One official denied the claim, saying that he was allowed to see everything he requested. Cameras had to be turned off only in certain areas.
In spite of his accusation, Carmelo admitted that the trip had a great impact on him, and believed that things need to change, in order to have a great impact on the inmates. “I know it’s a prison, but prison should be more of a rehab,” he added. “I know people, family members, close friends, that are in there that just came home. And you can see — some of them do better when they come home, some of them are worse off.”
Though I believe personally that if you do the crime, you need to do the time, I also believe in second chances for many of them. Prison shouldn’t be a cakewalk, but it should be able to help those who want be able to grow and make a change in their life. Just my opinion. Great to see Carmelo taking the time to reach out to these guys.