Home: An essay on prison pre-release anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder

Matthews, Felton Louis, Jr.

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felton L. Matthews Jr. P.O. Box 1989-4A12-ESP Ely, Nevada 89301 Date: 2-9-2020 pg 1 of 8 “Home: An Essay on Prison Pre- Release Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by Felton L. Matthews Jr.” When civilians think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they think of Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, or even Vietnam. I do not believe civilian psychologist or doctors consider the fact that the condition could be triggered by hostile prison conditions, excessive gang or criminal violence, or even violent abusive conditions in one’s very home. The issue, in my humble opinion is casually related to violent crime recidivism. Consider this hypothetical scenario if you will. An otherwise peaceful family man gets sent to prison for a child sex crime. He has no idea of what the system does to inmates with his high index crime. In his mind, the crime was not violent even though it’s regarded as such. Maybe it was, maybe it was not. However, this person is in for a very rude awakening. You cannot hit the button in your cell all the time and call for correctional officers to help you. Does that person in your mind deserve help? 2 of 8 But, let’s consider, if you will, a less obvious scenario. Let us say this person is a transgender sixteen year old teenager certified by the American Justice system as an adult. His crime is non-violent, maybe drug related and “he” looks like Sandra Bullock and or Halle Berry in their early twenties or Jaz from The Learning Channel, “I am Jaz.” People in this country especially, and it does occur in other countries I do imagine, literally look for excuses to do things to you because they feel in their mind you deserve it. This is a clear thinking error I taught as a facilitator at Lovelock Correctional Center called “self-entitlement”. Question: “What makes you entitled to do something to a person, a human, like “you,” simply because you can for whatever reason?” People want excuses to do wrong and evil to others to satisfy their own perversions and psychological needs or lack thereof. Courts, priest, pacifist, and sociologist try to push alternatives to violence, but this is what they fail in their utter naivety to understand and realize. That violence may be necessary. Now, back to my two hypothetical case scenarios. If you are homosexual transgender, or a child sex offender, people are not going to treat you neutrally. It’s a fact. You are in an institution where ninety percent (90%) or more of inmates are victims of abuse. Guards and staff actually 3 of 8 set up exploits to get such people raped, attacked, or killed. What’s sick is that prison officials first reaction is not to cure the problem and make restitution but to protect themselves and their underlings from legal redress. It’s self-preservation, survival of the fittest, both physically and civilly. With this law of nature invoked, even among us humans, (Yes, inmates are humans too!) why is violence not an acceptable form of redress? The very first step to recovery from any type of abuse is not to just tell on someone. Oh, it's works for a little while. And maybe it is the best answer or solution for a problem. At fourteen, I took a punch from a twenty-five year old man because I knew my sisters could not fight a family feud/gang war. I beat up a high school sophomore while in the eighth grade in Dallas, Texas. In my minds eye, he deserved it. He always moved my books for no reason in the Henry W. Longfellow lunchroom and took my seat no matter where I sat. See, in my mind, I could have avoided it all by eating and sitting a huge or further distance. But my issue was would that really solve the problem? And that is my case in point. You see, the very first step in recovery from any type of abuse or assault is to look your attacker or abusers in the eye and say, “No more. You cannot do this to me.” Then, you implement the solution most appropriate that does not lead to violence or at least harm to you directly * At Prisonsfoundation.org. 4 of 8 or indirectly. Child molesters, rapist, and homosexual/transgenders are not always afforded selective options in dealing with aggression and or abuse. In some cases kids, children, are not always afforded selective options against gang violence and that’s how they grow up. Aggression and violence becomes a way of life. I hate it, but it’s the cold blooded truth. For those reading and critiquing this essay, after May 15, 2020 a book that I have written called the “Gladiator School Instructor’s Manual” will be available for review and reading. You want to scare someone “straight” or you want to show a corrupt police officer they can be “touched”? Download it and send it to them as a “gift.” I have exposed several nightmare scenarios that could actually happen if the system does not change. “If”, you are a sex offender or a transgender homosexual male and you are in prison you will at least get threatened or attacked at least once every five to six years or less. This is my personal experience and what I have seen. Most people in protective segregation or “PC” try to hide their charges. Some even have their people scan the P.S.I.’s (Presentence Investigation reports), select the appropriate font and “voila” new charges! The internet killed that gain just like “video killed the radio star”! (For you youngsters, that was a popular pop song back in the early 1980's when MTV/VHI actually played music!) 5 of 8 Now, consider this all on a teenage transgender male and a family guy who has life and gets a parole board grant and goes to the street after so many years. (Not barring parole dumps or new prison crime charges!) These are the questions that run into a convicts mind pending his release, especially on parole: “Where am I going to live?”, “Who will hire me, I need a job?”, “Will my family help me, take me back?” If you are a sex offender or a guy who has been raped repeatedly, can you say, “Awkward”? You got even less help or resources. Prison’s familiar and comfortable with three hot meals, medical, and a place to sleep. This is “pre-prison release anxiety disorder”, and some inmates actually sabotage their release, especially if they have to return to family or the world raped with several stitches in their colons. How can you explain “that” to your wife, girlfriend, family or kids? Thankfully, “that” has never happened to me. And this is where P.T.S.D. kicks in. You see, when you come out of prison, you see guys do things that would get him stabbed up or killed. I heard of stories where guys go into bars fresh out of prison and they are on their way back on a totally new case. Why? The violence they had to endure or perpetrate in staying alive or at least to discourage rape has become the rule. The system has created them. And instead of fixing them, they rather “warehouse” or destroy them. This is how P.T.S.D. works: You get into an 6 of 8 argument, situation, and confrontation and you do not think of violence as a last resort it’s your first option. Those anger feelings are those same identical anger feelings you had as that child sex offender/family man or that teenage transgender beauty “queen” fighting off a rape attack, fighting off a gang attack because of your charges, or the outrage at a corrections officer spreading your charges to trigger it all. Those anger feelings are the same “feelings” you had when you discovered mucus or feces or urine in your food. (In CCDC, they locked down Unit 2B because I was going to attack all three porters ((yes, all three)) behind urine in my food.) You do not see that stranger or that family member for who they are; and that they are not the ones who did all that to you in prison. You see them as an enemy target who has pissed you off and you unload on them. Do you, my readers, understand this? And its just not limited to prison issues. Judicial officials make mistakes. That is why they have appeals. But what if you were to discover it’s not a “mistake” what they did to you and you have to go the long way around to get justice “just because”? (Only to discover ten, twenty, sometimes thirty years later you were actually innocent of your crimes and they suppressed evidence. A Brady vs Maryland violation.) 7 of 8 The common name for this particular form of P.T.S.D. is called “misdirected anger”. But your reaction is autonomous, almost instinctive, like an animal when you attack. We are animals, and like them, we do perpetrate and use violence. The Key to Controlling Violence It’s my opinion, but the key to controlling violence is not avoiding it but calculating “when” to use it. And when we use it, what type of violence is appropriate? Total suppression of violence in us humans as a species would weaken us. We are on the path to extinction, if we allow it. We will not evolve we will dissolve. Case in point: A recluse spider is in your home and you got kids, toddlers even. What do you do? Capture and release it peacefully, crush it, call the exterminator, or leave it alone? Capture and release, it may come back with eggs. You could stop on it, then you still got possible infestation. Leave it alone, and you got a 300.00 to 500.00 doctor bill for a bite on your children. Finally, there is a 200.00 bill for the exterminator. Me? I will be cleaning off my shoe and spraying. You see, “violence”? You will dissolve literally from recluse spider venom! Another scenario if you will, take internet bullying. I grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Texas. Only one way to handle a bully. We did not call our parents because our parents gave us the instructions. “Someone hits you, hit them back ‘hard’.” An ass kicking, 8 of 8 given and or taken, builds character. Or at least is does in Texas and the South. I find it surreal that there is actually a movement, and some kids have committed suicide, behind cowards, behind computer screens and key boards. It’s just my opinion, but I feel there needs to be an “old fashion” solution to internet bullying. I just hope my children did not grow up gutless wonders. Some may argue if they had, it would be my fault. Others would say, they are or were better off. To that I would say my “P.T.S.D.” would mitigate my resulting trip to court behind them! But I digress, my point about selecting when violence is appropriate. The above is not an appropriate venue to use it. A simple rebuke would do or simply ignore them would suffice. Violence is a tool that should be use sparingly and with wise discretion keeping the law in mind and all the consequences. Case in point: You could hit someone back for hitting you. But is it worth the trip to jail, cost of bail, fines, and the loss of your job, car, and apartment upholding your right to self-defense? You, my reader, must decide. I say it is “not” because of the cost. I know what it is. That is why I am a “master of violence.” I am a master, not because I successfully use it, but because I successfully avoid it and find other ways to punish it. Felton J. Matthews

Author: Matthews, Felton Louis, Jr.

Author Location: Nevada

Date: February 9, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 8 pages

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