Michael Jewell is the president of TX-CURE (Texas Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants), a support group for inmates and their families founded in 1972. Jewell, who made parole from the TDCJ-ID on June 11, 2010, after serving 40 consecutive years on a life sentence, is eminently qualified to speak on the pros and cons (no pun intended) of the Texas prison system. A fourth-grade dropout from Anderson, Indiana, Jewell went to juvenile reform school five times and later, as an adult, was incarcerated three times, the final time for armed robbery and murder. He was on death row for three years before his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment per the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Furman v. Georgia (1973). In prison, Jewell became an avid reader and developed a love of literature. Reading the great thinkers, from Plato to the cartoon sage Pogo, he became a “writ-writer,”an activist for prison reform. He now lobbies actively for prisoners’ rights.