THE NUMBERS that drive Philadelphia prison-reform advocate Patricia Vickers on her mission aren’t the big abstract ones.
Not 36,000, the shocking recent estimate of young black men in Philadelphia either behind bars or dead before their time.
Not 1,500,000, the national tally of what academics now call “missing black men.”
No, the digits that motivate the 66-year-old mom have been pounded with a sharp needle, black ink jabbed into the soft flesh under Vickers’ right bicep – 20 digits that mark the birthdays of her four kids as well as her own.
Vickers’ stark tattoo serves as the tangible reminder…