From experience, I've come to realize that most of society has little remorse for the "statistics" either because they feel that a person incarcerated has it easier than the free world or the incarcerated deserves to be worse off than the free world. I am among the category of "statistics," I truly beg to differ. Yes, I am given food to eat three times a day, yes I am provided with a limited amount of supplies; even a bed to sleep on. But when facilities like Private for Profits feed you meat that has signs on the box that specifies, "Not fit for human consumption," three to four times a week and serve you things that are known for causing health issues within a time of continued use. Even give you hygiene that makes your skin rash up and break out and toothpaste that makes your teeth brittle and breath worse, Lay you on a bunk that causes you back pains from the thinnest of it. An after all those realistic devastations, compensate from you asking for medical attention. How can anyone say that I have it easier off than the free world?
True enough the struggle doesn't come from being housed in a facility, but more or less the inside results that come from being here. A lot of facilities claim to be a safe productive environment when in the "spotlight," but behind closed doors, it's not just my peers I have to fear at times. It's been times where facility staff provoked me in order to restrain me and put their hands on me unlawfully.
Times when the authority figures have put me purposely in harm's way by housing me on a unit where they are immensely aware of the dangers of putting me around a certain group of people. To invoke trouble my way by either physical harm or sanctioned punishment. True enough I am not the first person this has to happen to, but this is simply my story.
After succumbing nine years subsequently of prison life, I've arrived at the conclusion that it gets no better or easier with each day that passes. Alot of people have the belief that incarceration preserves your youth and even if that is true is the case, what good is it? Being idle-minded demises your abilities to grow and mature. On one hand, even if you are preserving your body, your mind is still stuck in the mental aspects of the age you were removed from society with lack of real opportunity to grow educational wise besides the few limited resources available. It truly seems that useful knowledge is incongruous in a place full of violence and negative energy. A place where we truly are only being housed, fed and thrown in a pit left to endure the survival of the fittest. Expectancy of rehabilitation seems far fetched behind closed doors where only a few classes of anger management, substance abuse, plumbing, and commercial clean are taught by people who truly don't qualify. When you read the newspapers or articles about prison, they praise themselves on; rehabilitation and sending one back into society with tons of success. The world has no choice but to believe because when we as prisoners throw warning signs and red flags, the system tries to bring an audit around and the facilities put on a good facade for them for a week or two, sweeping their dirty deeds under the rug until they leave. You can't expect a system to allow its revenue to cease.
A life for a life isn't justice. How can you call giving a young 18 or 19-year-old boy 30 years to life in prison justice? Even though the heart is still beating, the life of this person is dead with no opportunities to grow and no maturity to anything positive in the mind and heart. Being deprived of reproduction and having a family, I've seen it subsequently, men 50-60 years back into society and with no family alive and no means of support, education, or training in any field that can truly help them survive legally on their own. Prison destroys a person; mentally, emotionally, and physically given the life expectancy is between 70-80 years. Thus in a world where finances are among the top precedents of the government, your words become like a silent shout when you try to draw attention to the glitches in the prison system. Nevertheless, it's understood that the law is a system of rules and general principles that govern individuals conduct in society. Still, in reply, it shouldn't be misunderstood, those individuals are no less than human beings.
A person's place in society shouldn't necessarily be established by mistakes one has made, but more or less by the courage and ability to right their wrongs and prove themselves capable of change. Being placed in an environment surrounded by hostility and controlled by brute force or confinement, it almost becomes inevitable to accomplish the change to one's mentality; an understanding of a way of life. A lost soul is more than just an eternal quote or a spiritual figure os speech. For surely if you look inside the world of a prison system you will indeed find a soul lost! Thus [illegible], locking them up and throwing away the key isn't always a just remedy.
Cedric D.Jackson (writer)
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