How parole can become a trap. A system designed to help ex-convicts adjust to the outside world risks perpetually condemning them. The cycle of incarceration continues for thousands of Americans long after prison, with false promises of redemption and rehabilitation, and lives trapped within a system that's funnelled more and more people back behind bars. Jaeah Lee explores one man's struggle with crime and punishment and the "impossible burden" of parole. Here, she reflects on how this one personal experience echoes the stories of many Americans trying to make a new life for themselves after time in prison. "The net effect of these rules is a 'nearly impossible burden', the ACLU lawyer wrote. People have to navigate the narrow strait between "the Scylla of failure to check in and the Charybdis of unemployment". More pointedly, as civil-rights scholar Michelle Alexander wrote: 'Today a criminal freed from prison has scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a freed slave or a black person living 'free' in Mississippi at the height of Jim Crow.'"