Source — The Atlantic

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USA : 'I can’t keep my brother out of jail, and that hurts'

Dionna King’s older brother has been in and out of prison since he was 18 years old. Michael (a pseudonym to protect his privacy) is now 32 and currently serving time for a probation violation. King is two years younger than Michael and has had a front-row seat to his various incarcerations over the years. “The first arrest happened in our high school, and it was related to a drug offense,” she says. “I think it was possession of marijuana.” King’s life story is permanently imprinted with the effects of Michael’s journey and the fallout from his troubled relationship with the justice system.

Growing up in Atlanta, Michael liked being the center of attention, making others laugh, and being popular. For much of their life together, King yearned for a good relationship with her charming brother. She says that “seeing other sibling relationships, and idealizing that, and recognizing that we didn’t have such a strong bond” made her feel sad and alone. “I’ve never had that net-protector person,” King says. She pined for the fabled ideal: the older brother who looks out for his baby sister, who keeps her safe in the world, who shows her the ropes. “That was my vision of an older sibling,” she says. Instead, “I’ve always felt like I’m the person who had to bear that responsibility.”

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