A bottle of contradictions

Williams, Dortell

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A Bottle of Contradictions by Dortell Williams Is it me, or is the sentence of life without the possibility a bottle of contradictions? Perhaps the bottle should say "Break in case of emergency!" The Legislature wrote the law implying that I am - that we are - incorrigible. So the prison system excludes us from every meaningful rehabilitative program: trades, jobs with career paths, and even some self-help programs. In spite of these impediments, many of us have achieved remarkable personal transformations. We set to create our own self-help and cognitive behavioral therapy classes. Personally, I have earned a paralegal certificate, obtained four associate of arts degrees, and completed a doctorate degree program through Channel Island Bible & Seminary. I am trained in life coaching and I instruct on the various traumas (physical, mental and emotional). I am currently on the cusp of earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Cal State University - Los Angeles. In 2014, I edited and published a cautionary anthology, Dark Tales From the Dungeons: Horrors From the 'Hood for Youth to Beware, to divert youth from prison. Many of us here at the Progressive Programming Facility, as well as other men and women transformative facilities, have similar accomplishments - in spite of the rehabilitative impediments set before us. Our ability to not only transform ourselves, but inspire others to do so, is wholly ignored. This means that we cannot demonstrate our ability to change before a parole board. Unlike other lifers, even those with similar offenses, we were sentenced differently, our accomplishments, our triumphs, and our successes, no matter how impressive to others, are snubbed. Why? Because we are predestined to the myth of incorrigibility, even before we committed our crimes. We simply fit in a cookie-cutter matrix that deems us wholesale "throwaways," destined to die in prison - all 5,200 of us ! I think it's time to break that bottle, this is an emergency!

Author: Williams, Dortell

Author Location: California

Date: January 18, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 1 pages

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