Greetings, I pray that you are well

Patterson, Perry

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Transcript

To the Editors of the APWA Sept 27, 2016 Greetings, I pray that you are well and enjoying peace of mind. I am now writing you about the most serious issue ever. I briefly mentioned the murder of prison guard, Timothy Davidson, by a prisoner here at Telford Unit in July 2015. Because of the murder, an investigation was performed which exposed failures to follow proper procedures resulting in firings (so we were told) and resignations of all the wardens and many high ranking guards. Telford received 3 new wardens and low ranking guards were promoted. Well, one by one, all the guards were re-hired! Believe it or not, all of the guards who resigned, reapplied and were re-hired at low level correctional officers! Even the former warden is back at the same prison as a guard now! I am very confused as to the objective of this investigation and the resulting decisions to dismiss the people responsible, only to allow them to return in a capacity to again be responsible for the safety of guards/prisoners. TOCJ policy allows guards to re-apply if they resign immediately and after a short period if they are fired. This must contribute to the prisoners' reluctancy to complain or report any incidents, officers also, why expose any wrong doing when factually the employee reported will be rehired with access to whomever reported on them. Policy should be that any prison employee let go should at least be denied employment at the same prison! So many policies are ignored so that no one (prisoners/guards) can even remember actual policy. For example, some guards allow prisoners to hang clothing on the showers - when in use - to comply with federal PREA rules, while others threaten disciplinary action for the same action. Some guards allow prisoners to stand up to watch television (there are not enough seats) and some curse prisoners for standing only. The mental aspect of being in most prisons sometimes outweighs the physical incarceration. Society should recognize its interests in the necessary humane treatment and rehabilitation of prisoners because the vast majority of prisoners are eventually released, and most return to prison with worse crimes/more violent than they initially had. Does anyone want their loved ones to be the next victim of a murderer/rapist who used to be a car stealing crack addict before coming to prison and being exposed to perverts, abuse (by guards and inmates), violence, gangs, injustice and untreated mental illness? Society has more at stake concerning rehabilitation than the prisoner does. The re-offending prisoner loses only his freedom and humanity, society loses the lives of good people. Fathers, brothers, mothers, and today police officers are being hunted! Has no one else noticed that most of the terror and hate crimes are committed by ex-prisoners? Does anyone believe it's as simple as habitual criminal behavior? Why can radicals convince ex-cons to carry out jihad and suicide so easily? This week a lawyer in Houston shot 9 people at random, if violence like that can come from a lawyer, imagine the potential acts from an ex-con influenced by day to day survival in prison. Today's prisons are releasing bitter, angry, and mistreated psychopaths determined to kill to keep from going back to prison but lacking the skills (especially social skills) to prevent a return. No guards here tell us anything positive or encouraging - no instead they degrade us and revel in their authority to control every aspect of what life we have left, from corresponding and visiting with our families to when we can use the restroom or eat and shower. The few guards who do conduct themselves professionally are trusted and respected by prisoners and guards - they're the ones that no prisoner attacks even in a riot. Prison reform is critical. Thank you reader for allowing me to rave, rant, and further expose life hidden behind walls, bars and razor wire though the toughest obstacles to true freedom are sometimes abuse, ignorance, and even ourselves. Would not this world better if criminals weren't just punished, but also taught why all crime is unacceptable and inspired with a moral desire to live lawfully? Perry Patterson Telford Unit

Author: Patterson, Perry

Author Location: Texas

Date: September 27, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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