"No person is a criminal, a person is taught to be a criminal"
At this writing, I am now into the twenty-eighth year of this incarceration, and I say, this length of time I'm sure it must constitute me as being certified, qualified to say something of major importance and of validity about prison due to my experience.
The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said that, "Freedom" could not help but to be Free, which throughout all these years, I have come to interpret as the very essence of all humankind is that of "Freedom". Such being the case, putting a person into prison (or any other place of incarceration) is mostly a direct attack, a direct assult on the very core, the very essence of a person, their freedom.
Prisons, run straight, directly contrary to the very essence of a human being, to humankind, at the very profoundest, the very deepest levels and depth prisons are totally hazardous and contrary to humanity. The English author Charles Dickens visted an American prison back in 1842 and later wrote and said, (and I quote) "The system is rigid, strict and loveless...and I believe it to be cruel and wrong...I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body".
I say this according to my own understanding of things which I've read over these years. That "punishment" was (an) invention of religion, of the church, supposedly a measure, a method, a means of cleansing, of purifying a person of their sins. I am well aware that, the church had people, tortured, by all sorts of ways and means - one way, being burned alive at the stake.
So if you hear Charles Dickens, "this, slow "and daily tampering" is this psychological, this mental burning at the stake is in these torture chambers-prison-
From my own personal experience, I am here to tell you this. Prison, is an environment of, anxiety, tension, fear, anger, hatred, agony and scheming plotting revenge, (this devils work shop of idle minds) those are the invisible things which you the outsider does not see, when you tour a prison -(this happens to be the State of "Wisconsin" that I am now in, I mention this because the character whom the movie, "The Making of a Murderer" [prisoner name] lives here.
The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre also said, "in grace the body is the instrument which manifest "Freedom" The prisoner in prison, any manifestations or gesture(s) of the prisoner expressing freedom, the prison administration is ready to pounce on, to squash it, to crush it, to oppress it into regression. All the rules, the policies of prison all merely designed as devices to trap, to ensnare the prison and to restrict, to oppress the prisoner into obedience and submission.
The cold reality is this, "there is only "ONE" system and both the prisoner and the prison guard alike are under the same system and that one systems bottom line is this, "it demands obedience and submission of both the prisoner as well as the prison guard. (Mark Twain said "the prison-guard is the lowest form of human being) and I've come to concur with Twains's assessment, because who voluntarily turns their mind over for someone else to manipulate to control like some marionette on strings? (and sounds like those Nazis who were put on trial after World War II for, war crimes, against humanity, saying, "I was only doing my job" or I was only following orders, for all their ugly, hideous atrocities against other human beings, against humankind)
It is really something that today, that same Germany is now light years ahead in dealing with prisons and being humane.
Everyone already knows that prisons are nothing but capitalist money making enterprises and its not even about rehabilitation, justice or fair play, its about, "money", and whats going on is prisoners are being "conditioned" like Pavlov's dogs to return back to prison (but people are acting like they don't know what's going on) and the hypocrites speak of "recidivisim" this is totally scandalous. If no one came back to prison, plenty of people would be out of a job, out of work, so the game continues to go on and on and on and around and around we go, like the game Monolopy, some one should create a game called, "Prison"
As I say, it took a civil war to stop slavery and it's going to take something very drastic, something very severe to stop the injustice and the vile nefariousness of things in these prisons throughout these "United States of America, this Organize Crime Syndicate. Thank you for your mind.
Mr. Larry Bracey
Long Live the Guerilla
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.