Friday, May 22, 2009

"Follow Up" by Jo Dereske

From: The Prosecution Rests ed. Linda Fairstein. Little, Brown, and Co., 2009.

In the middle of a blizzard, Michigan parole board member Jeff Willett comes to the aid of a woman stranded in the snow. He learns the woman is the mother of a possible parolee, Danny Hartman, who served time of holding up a 7-Eleven. Desperate to deliver letters in favor of Danny's parole, Danny's mother breaks from Jeff when his car runs off the road.

Jeff searches for her for a while, but when he meets with Danny, the kid seems unwilling to talk or accept possible help from his mother. I wasn't sure whether Jeff wanted to help Danny's mother reach the parole board or if he just wanted to avoid the complications her letters would bring. Either way, this story is a well-delivered, bleak look at the system.

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