Darren Mack was born and raised in Brooklyn in a community that was plagued with a high concentration of poverty, substandard schools, and high rates of unemployment among Black and Latino males. In 1992, at the age of 17, Darren was arrested for being an accomplice to a robbery and was ultimately sentenced to 20 to 40 years in the New York State prison system. His first time in the prison system, Darren served a total of 20 years straight.
While incarcerated, Darren wanted to learn more about U.S. History and became particularly interested in issues related to race, class, and gender. Several years into his sentence, Darren was accepted into Bard College’s Bard Prison Initiative. After being released in 2012, Darren graduated on Bard College’s campus with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies with the class of 2013. Since his release, Darren has been actively engaged in working to dismantle New Jim Crow practices. He became a member of the Education From The Inside Out Coalition working to remove statutory and practical educational barriers for individuals impacted by the punishment system. He is now a full time graduate student studying Community Organizing at Silberman School for Social Work.