Man sees world after 44 years in prison

One man’s story of reintegration with the modern world.

Otis Johnson entered prison at age 25 on charges of assault and attempted murder of a police officer. After serving 44 years, he was released at 69 years old with nothing but an ID, $40, and a bus ticket to Times Square into a world that was vastly different than the one he remembered. Otis doesn’t understand why everyone is walking around talking to themselves with earbuds like CIA agents any more than he understands why there’s now peanut butter and jelly in the same jar. (Actually, we don’t understand that one, either.)

Otis admits that prison affected him a lot, and that his reentry was difficult because things had changed so much. With the way the world is rapidly changing, it’s difficult to imagine being removed from society for five years much less nearly 50.