As I write this short first hand account…

Perry, Danny



Dear Readers As I write this short first hand account, I have a black eye, on the left side of my face. Its 10:30pm, the lights are out and lockdown is quit. US prisoners call lockdown The Hole, because its like someone dugg a hole and pushed you in. now try to think of sitting at the bottom of a hole for 6 months (180 days). I have been in the hole for 3 days due to a fist fight. Once I go to the hearing I will find out my fate. The max punishment is $200.00 fine, 180 days in lockdown and (LOP) 28 days of loss of privaldages which means, when I am let out of lockdown, I have to stay in my cell for 28 more days only allowed, to come out for meals and one shower a day. What ever the hearing officer chooses is what I get. And yet I've been here befor, no really! Same cell same unit same misconduct. Just the last time it was the other person who was hurting in the face. Some might say that's karma, but its not. Its just the way things go in prison. Try to think of prison as the ocean, day after day little fish swim around eating small crustations, then the say come when a bigger fish eats the little fish. That's the never ending cycle of prison life. If your not a big fish then you will be eatten. Some times the little fish makes it to become a big fish, dealing out the same thing he once feared. I have been in this prison for (38mos.) little over 3 years with 5yrs left to go. By the time I do get out I'll be 33yrs old with 15yrs total of prison time under my belt. I have no kids (which I am thankful for), but I also have nothing to my name other than $70,000 restatution and a crime filled past. One good thing is I was able to get my GED at the age of 27. I passed with honor's, and come graduation time I was 50 days into a 180 day set in the hole. Needless to say this life is not living at all. The prison time people do is known as 'Dead time'. The only difference is for some people, they can wake up one day and go home to their loved ones. Not everybuddies so lucky to get another shot. They are doomed to die the lonelyisted death to be had. Waking up day in day out with no where to go. Never really getting to express to their family(s) how sorry they are for not being able to be in their lives. Please don't get the wrong idea, as much as I personally would never wish a lifetime sentence on a normal human. There are animals that need to be put to sleep. I am talking people who kill helpless kids, people who hunt people for sport, anyone who preys on children etc... I look at it like the family dog who everyone loves, snaps on day and runs down somebody and attack them for no reason. That animal needs to be put down. Some with people who act raviness. It's the people who are doing life sentences for crimes that were non-violent, like: drugs, thief, stolen property, or just many small crimes. That gets my goat. I read about a guy who stole a pair of socks and got life, another guy who was homeless waitted for people to leave the restraunt table, and he grabbed the scrapes leftover got life for trestpassing. Wow! Where do judges and Das minds go to fuel a persons life is worth less than food scrapes on a empty table? Prison is not a punishment, its revenge. Punishment is ment to get a point acrossed 'Don't do that!' then the punishment is over. If a child steals a cookie after a mother said No! do you lock the kid up in a room for months? No! you put them in the corner for 5 minutes than ask him if he understand his punishment, then everything is back to normal. I understand theres a big difference for crimes and cookies but the concept is punishment. When a punishment drags on for years it stops being punishment because the point of why we are to learn our lesson, is lost. We understand what we did was wrong, but most of us know what we were doing was wrong in the first place, and still made the choices we made. Honestly prison stop being punishment after my first year back in because I no long care why I am here. Once a person stops caring about what the punishment is then you have to ask the question did we get the result we wanted? To say the least the system is faulty by far. There is no unitformality in the way crimes are dealt with. One person in a big city could rob someone at gunpoint and get 5 years with good time. The same crime 50 mins down the road turns to 15 years no good time. Really all the state looking to save money should just fire all the judges becaue it's the Das handing out the sentences, then to ass insult to injury most public attorney's are in bed with the Das and also don't like fighting cases because they don't want a loss on their record, so what do thy do? They talk people into deals by scaring them with extortion. If you don't take this deal youll get the max time. And whats sad is if you do fight in court and lose you will get the max time. It all or nothing and your betting with a attorney who now is mat at you for wanting to put up a fight. You think he wants to really help you now? If he wins you case the DA is pissed for losing. If he loses your case he decreases him chances for becoming a DA. Most likely the people facing the charges has no clue about how the law really works so their fate [iges?] in the person who went to law school. If hes saying take the deal, then I should take the deal, right? What other choise is there? Can I defend my self? Well you can try. I would only recommend it if you have studied law books and have someone who will help you do research. Then I would say hell yes because your going to fight harder for your own freedom the some public shmuck. I feel if a person understands the basics of law and has research access, you would be better off to fight your own case. But that's only if you understand evidence plays a key role. As for private attorneys I feel they will give you a honest shake for the most part. They thing is it takes money for them to help you. Theres a truth to the saying "Rich people don't go to prison, poor people do." The system is corrupt and that's the way things go. Big fish little fish. Mainly I am writing to ley my voice be hears and inform people that sending people to prison does not make them better. When someone is sick, do you lock them in a room untill they get better? Most likely not! You should treat them the way you want to be treated when your sick, and help them get better. I find it humorus when I read things about reform, reducing reoffenders, better help to rehubittate prisoners. Because its all bull shit propaganda, to get more money. Think of it this way. Say you owned a multibillion dollar a year hotel that people were forced to come to for making bad choices. Would you really want to help make those people stop coming to your hotel? To me anyone with a brain knows how to help make a person better. You teach them, give them the tools to be some thing different. Work skills, trades, education and you 'kill em with kindness'. Yet the mind set is hard time will fix them. The only thing hard time dose is takes the humanity out of being human. It takes basic human feelings like loving, caring, compassion, will, and empathy and turns them into weakness. People take those feels and turn them into, hate, anger, rage, resistance, because weakness is preyed upon in prison. If someone were to ask me to write a criminal handbook on how to do crime, I could have a best seller in 3 weeks. Ask me to write a how to find a job manual, I could have drawl the cover page and that's it. Now if that aint a good use of hard earned tax payers money I don't know what is! Surely that was a joke. I am truly dumbfounded why with so many great mind trying to come up with a plan B for sending people to prison, has et to end prison construction. Its because 'prison for profit' what we need is 'prison for treatment and reform'. Most of prisoners will some day get back out to the world and come to a town near you. How do you like knowing that while I did 8yrs I learnd nothing of how to get a job, or even a trade skill? Plus even if I had most employer dont want a thief around their business, so where do I go for rent money? I cant go to the bank for a loan with no job. There a hunder of thousands of people like me getting out with no tools, no help, no loved ones, no support system in place. What do we do? Well to some people prison is not so bad, no bills, free food, free clothes, free bed, almost like worry free vacation and hey and its on your tax payer money! Not only did you get everything in your house stolen, I get to wait out my time and move into another area still in the same boat, looking for more rent to money. I say this with pin intended because for me the light bulb has went off, I am one of the few who has took it upon myself to better my own life and not come back to prison. I've educated myself so that I am not the one stealing your priceless heirlooms, and TV. For most people in prison there has been no change. Its taken me 15 years of prison time to want that change for myself. 15 years to get my mind right and say this is not the life I want. I was lucky enough to have my gramparentce who loved me and wanted better for me too. Books are what got me to finding away out of a lifestyle of crime. Books gave me hope to where now I can answer that question. What do I do for money? Not everyone in prison will be able to find a way to change their mind set. It took me almost $700.00 in books that my grandma paid for and willpower to see that no one else can change me. I fortunately never got to be a drug addict, so I have a easier time finding the way to change. For the many people who use drugs like meth, coke, heroin, the drug is their only way out. It calls them. I've personally seen someone who did it 12yrs in prison and the last five mons of his time almost every time he talked, it was about how he could not wait to use meth. Thats what prisoner are doing, waiting 12 yrs to use meth again. Last time I heard about this guy he is on the run, hiding from the cops. It was less then a year after he got out I heard this. For prisoners a year's pretty good to be able to stay out. Which that in it self screams The system is Broken! Then comes; If its Broken How do we fix it? Well theres no simple answer because one person cant change it a thousand people cant change it. It will take a great majority of people to demand their state governments to change the system. Demand that tax payers money be spent on what the tax payers want done. For some reason the government forgot who put that money in the back for the states. There are so many better ways to protect community then prisons. For the people who are what? I've come up with options that are easyer, save money, punish the offender, protect the community, and build the community out-look of prisoners all without the use of prison. In order for those options to work, first people would have to voice that here is a Plan-B that we want! And 'we the people' support these reforms. So many government officials now day are scare to do anything that will change the way things have gone. They need full support to be trailbalzers. One thing that is a downfall is 'common sence aint always common'! And the first time one person, abuses one of the options there will be people screaming it doesn't work, prison the only way. Prison is Not the only way! I beg you to think outside the box. Just because prisoners are out of sight, out of mind does not fix that prisons don't help better a person. Keep in mind that the options I present are just options to put a choise other than prison on the table, and not everyone should these options apply too as a punishment. Prison should still be in play just a last stop. I feel a classification of the crime and the persons record should be voted on by say 3 jury members or a council board. G.P.S. Monitoring. This way cheaper, healthyer on a person state of mind. The community is safer, because the person is known by police, they can find him/her whenever, and keeps that person from changing into a worse person, as if sent to prison. Even if someone needed prison time, say if they do half their time they could earn GPS freedom, rather then spending years upon years in prison. Open Camps: These camps should be somewhat restrictive, but still free. People live in cabins with bunk beds. They go on to work crews, fight wild fires, pick up trash, plant trees, and when disaster happen like 'sandy' there are put on a bus to go help. I know I would of volunteered to go clean up. Those are fellow Americans who are still hurting in the U.S.A and yet they suffer, when prisons hold more people that could make a difference. Paying back communities for the crimes we done, would show people that a prisoner is still a person willing to help do the things needed to right out wrongs. I am no talk slave labor for inmates either, that is not right what some prison do by forcing inmate to work, and the prison makes money. Some one needs to call ol Abe and let him know there and new slavery loophole. Work Force: This should be like a college that a person is force to go too. Say a drug dealer whos never worked. Send him to a college trade class. Forcing him to learn a trade. Then if he goes back to drug dealing and not working, prison is the next step or a camp. Someone cant build a house with NO tools. A lot of people I've met do crime as a means to make a living. You cant get mad at someone who lives life the only way they know how, but you can get mad if you've showed them a different way and they still choose crime. Well I truly hope that this opens the eyes of the blind. For everyone in the freeworld who fights for prisoners rights and anything that's for change, I sulute you. Thank you greatly! Sooner or later life, liberty, and property will be understood for what those words mean, until then prison it is! P.S. forward this to three of your friends please.

Author: Perry, Danny

Author Location: Oregon

Date: February 5, 2014

Genre: Essay

Extent: 8 pages

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