I am despised in our communities

Apodaca, Victor Andrew, Sr.



Please allow my name and address to appear as I would like to see about feedback or any help I may be to someone who wants to expose the prison system for the Monster of Death, hate, and so much suffering for inmates caught in the grasp's of it: Summary Essay: The way in which we distribute justice-putting people in prison - has consequences, which raise more questions of justice, like how to deal with convicts there families and communities, who are also punished, though they themselves have done nothing wrong. Recognition of this fact has far-reaching consequence for the conduct of public policy. What objective are our prisons trying to achieve, and how should we weigh the enormus costs they impose on our fellow, innocent citizens? This is the questions I pose to you.... I am despised in our communities there we are damaged, neglected, feared and held in contempt "I am one who speaks as I was raised in the projects or so called other side of the tracks, trash not worthy of help." I was mentally abused at home by a hardened convict but also by my teachers and professionals, courts etc., Even though I tried to escape this life of crime I did not because of lack of education and funding. I believe if had received a hand up and not a hand out my life would of been different, for myself and my children. Now I have taken my life to a higher level with true grit, I'm tired of all the evil that surrounds me. I want to become a voice for the voiceless and hope for the hopeless I am becoming a activist and hope to bring hope to others to show there is light at the end of this tunnel as I am not perfect. I still sin and do wrong but I do not believe I haven't learned from my prison cell, that not all men have inequality as racial disparities on the minorities in the criminal justice system... Bertrand Russell in his autobiography puts it this way. "Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions like great winds, have blown me hither and thither in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair"..... Now comes a view of my own understanding of the injustice of our justice system. There are very few words in the English language that arrest our pure attention then these do, "crime", "violence", "revenge", "and injustice." We the people say we detest crime; but love justices, we boast that we live by the rule of law. Violence and vengefulness we consider as unworthy of our civilization, and we assume that everyone holds to this sentiment, to be unanimous among all human beings. Yet crime continues to be a national disgrace and it is a world-wide problem. Yet included among the crimes that make up the total are those which we committing you noncriminals. These are not in the tabulations. They are not listed in the statistics and are not described in the president's Crime Commission studies. The crimes are in the very fabric of our society and is threatening, alarming, wasteful, expensive, abundant, and apparently increasing! But our crimes help to make the recorded crimes possible, even necessary; and the worst of it is we do not even know that we are guilty.... Perhaps our worst crime is our ignorance about crime; our easy satisfaction with the headlines and the accounts of detestable cases; and the people's smug assumption that it is all a matter of some tough "bad guys" whom the tough "good-guys" will soon capture.... I mean by this the encouragement of our love of vindictive "justice," our generally smug detachment, and our prevailing public apathy.... Who hears the cries of alarm from the people of racial inequality and from the scientific authorities, police authorities, government authorities, and even from the President? There are commissions appointed; books are written; research is approved; But the basic public attitude remains unchanged. Blacks are shot in the back and unarmed minorities have a police force that believe we are all criminals and are guilty and must prove to be innocent our rights under the U.S. Constitution are the opposite of what the legal justice system allows, the murder of so-called criminals "hands up don't shot" is a national movement bring to light that minorities lives matter; "black lives matter." What is wrong with these pictures? Why don't Americans care? And if we do care, some of us, why not more are the intelligent be more effective on the government body's that where placed there by the people to protect and server, not shot first and ask questions later. When, therefore we turn our eyes or ears toward the great cry for help arising from the crime situation, "that is better called the social safety problem." We tend to believe in terms of the basic condition and its procedures that have guide them, in responding to those other forms of human distress there comes the great difficulty which will immediately arises: who is the patient we are to treat? We should not jump to any assumption that criminals are the obvious subject upon whom to concentrate our attention. For who is he? Do we mean, really the convicted criminal? Knowing that most offenders are never convicted, do we perhaps mean to say the accused offenders? But do we want to exclude the potential offender, whose crime might be or may have been prevented? And if we are seeking all the potential offenders, you surely must include yourselves..... Crime is everybodys temptation - it is easy to look with proud disdain upon "those people," who get caught - the stupid ones, the unlucky ones, the blatant ones. But who does not get nervous when police cars follow closely? Some of us who have been convicted of any crime picked up over two-billion dollars worth of merchandise last year or more from the store's we patronize. Over a billion dollars or more were embezzled by employees last year.... These facts disturb us or should. They give us an uneasy feeling that we are all indicted. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." We cannot escape our responsibilities with vehement denials or with rhetoric and oratory, nor can we assume that offenders have no "rights." We do commit our crimes, too. Most crimes go undetected, including ours. And even those of us who have "forgotten" our offenses, hoping they will have been forgiven by "YHWH" if not officially by man, will not deny the casual experience of criminal wishes or fantasies of criminal acts.... And there is one crime we all keep committing, over and over. I accuse you the reader of this - and myself also - and all the non-readers. We commit the crime of damning some of our fellow citizens with the label "criminal" and having done this, we force them through an experience that is soul-seeing and dehumanizing. In this way we exculpate ourselves from the guilt we feel and tell ourselves, that we do it to "correct", the "criminal" and make us all safer from crime. We commit this crime every day that we retain our present stupid, futile, abominable practices against detected offenders..... I purpose to demonstrate to the paradox, that much of the laborious effort made in the noble name of justice results in, its very opposite. The concept is so vague, so distorted in its applications, so hypocritical, and usually so irrelevant that it offers no help in the solution of the crime problem. Which it exists to combat but results in its exact opposite - injustice, injustice to everybody. Socrates defined justice as the awarding, to each that which is due him. But Plato perceived the sophistry of this and admitted that justice basically means power, "the interest of the stronger," a clear note that has been repeated by everyone and officers, the justice's, and the government to which it stands." The poor suffer because they can not afford to by justice and the prison system makes them slaves! On the other hand, when justice is "meted out," justice is "served," justice is "satisfied" or "paid".... It is something terrible which somebody "sees to it," that somebody else gets; not something good, helpful, or valuable, but something that hurts! It is the whiplash of retribution about to descend on the naked back of transgressor. The end of justice is thus to give help to some, pain to others.... Here is where my scientific position as I am in the social sciences the science of criminology as I am an expert my observing and interpreting by a systematic collection of facts; and to the drawing of a tentative conclusion, as I submitted for you the reader to further investigation for proof or disproof.... I will begin with opposing view points in context: is it not true, for example, that prisons create criminals? As the Rutgers criminologist Todd Clear concluded after a review of evidence, the ubiquity of the prison experience in some poor urban neighborhoods has had the effect of eliminating the stigma of serving time. On any given day, as many as one in five adult men in these neighborhoods is behind bars, and as Clear as written, "the cycling of these young men throug the prison system has become a central factor determining the social ecology of poor neighborhoods, where there is hardly a family without a son, an uncle or a father who has done time in prison." As this rings true in my own life my father was a convict, so I am a convict and my oldest daughter is a felon, and my middle son is a convict that will be receiving a life sentence. Not all my children have become criminals some are productive members of society my eldest son is a marine corps combat veteran and my youngest son is going into the U.S. Air Force. I myself served in the U.S. Army and a combat veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm but I suffered from P.T.S.D. At the time I did not know what this was but I used drugs and alcohol for many years after my less then honorable discharge for dissertion I went A.W.O.L. to protect my children and myself from my first wife who was trying to kill me so she could keep her military benefits and receive my insurance policy so she could be free to be with her boyfriend "which I mite add was a sergeant in certain battalion at Fort Benning Georgia" He was the one my wife put to kill myself the U.S. Army would not do anything to help me so I attempted to kill him after I was arrested more that five times I felt it was in my best interest to go A.W.O.L. plus my sergeant any E-6 told me that would be best as he saw it. So that's what I did. Now comes my hope for the future of the American penal system: The ideological justification for the present American prison system has a plain historical truth of the matter is that neighborhoods like north Philadelphia, the west side of Chicago, the east side of Detroit, and south central Los Angeles did not come into being by an accident of nature. I would argue that the criminal's own choices have put him in the prison system but what choices do we have? Here is were my expertise comes into play: in 2009, the National Correctional Association conducted a study on the effects of educating inmates. The study found inmates who earn an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science are 70% less likely to recidivate than inmates who do not work on higher education. The study also found that inmates who earn a G.E.D. are 25% less likely to recidivate.... "WOW" A 2010 report by the National Institute of Justice to the United States Congress stated, "prison education is far more effective at reducing recidivism than boot camps, shock incarceration or vocational training." The report went on to state, "The more educational programs successfully completed for each six months, the lower the recidivism rates.... "WOW" "This report determined that with an associate's degree you were 86% less likely to recidivate, with a Bachelor's degree you were 94% less likely to recidivate and no one with a Master's degree has gone back to prison..."double WOW" Furthermore, a recent United States Department of Justice report concluded prison based education is the single most effective tool for lowering recidivism! "Hear that America," "WOW"... (As quoted by Monte Whitehead 1-18-2013) As MIC Institute published in July 2009 "Programs that help offenders stay out of prison are the educational." This states that we the public have to grow and be impatient with our current failure of our correctional system. The dilemma is that, while the supposed crime rates have gone down, incarceration rates continue to rise at a very dramatic rate. In 2004, there were over 750,000 inmates released from state or federal jurisdiction. Of those released, nearly two thirds will be rearrested within three years; the largest increase in the nation's prison is recycled offenders. As it is, the U.S. corrections system has become a revolving door for recycling criminal behavior, and these recycled offenders now account for 52% of the prison population. As I have first hand knowledge of this a double edge sword, is that there is an opinion that cutting cost such as giving the care of prison to a private corporation such as G.E.O. Group is not beneficial to the state or federal institutions as in Obama has stopped at the federal institutions. He stopped using private prison; as they are breed grounds for more violence, constitutional rights violations and improper medical care; as the sentence's have become greater and greater the prison population is getting older the burden to maximum sentences has not deterred criminals and has placed heavy burdens upon the states and its citizens.... As if we would come up with sound correctional practice it would demand the inclusion of a variety of programs to address the many needs of the inmate population would include programs that would provided the daily structured routine, that is, education, vocational training, substance abuse treatment, mental health and trauma treatment, and work. After the structured day, other programs such as spiritual development, recreation, hobby crafts, library access, and personal wellness would round out the criminal involvement in prison and out of prison.... Clearly, it is not a decision about whether to fund correctional programming, but rather a decision about which programs are most effective in achieving their desired outcomes. It shows that inmates who graduate from college had [recidivism?] rates reduced by 72% when compared to offenders not participating in any education program. Canadian statistics also demonstrated that offenders who completed at least two college courses had 50% lower recidivism rates. We find that President Obama had the pilot program for the Second Chance Pell Grant program... I'd hope to get into that program but sadly our college advisor/administrator had dropped the ball!... I only have 14 college credit hours to finish my first secular degree at New Mexico Junior College but Warden R.C. Smith and G.E.O. Group have literally destroyed the college program for inmates on receiving an Associates of Liberal Art's or any other degrees. As we only receive ¢.30 per hour about $34.00 if no lockdowns and the whole state of new prison system have there inmate get free college course but LEA County Correctional Facility in Hobbs, New Mexico. Have to pre-pay from our books $159.00 to $275.00 plus books and supplies, it would take me over 6 months to just pay for one 3 credit class and the lab's I need would take me over a year or more to save up that kind of money! But our hands are tied as the state has said in my attempt to use the grievance process as it is "made for the prison system" not the "inmate." But my religious education from Shalom Bible College and Seminary the president Doctor B.L. Rice has stood with me these past trying years as my battle with the prison system. She pushed me to complete my study's even when I had to assaulted another inmate I was about to give up and go back to being a convict but she pushed me. I now hold a Bachelor's of Theology "Magna Cum Laude" and I just received my master's of Nouthetic Counselor "Summa Cum Laude" this was by her will and YHWH's guidance, that a retarded kid as my "teachers" told me when I was growing up. It is that there are people, educator's, and professional people that help us to better ourselves but they are too few and far between.... This is why I am who I am now by the sure will of caring loving Christian and non-Christian's. The prison system is so corrupted; the elected officials want us to be punished beyond our sentence's... I myself have over 15 years now! I did deserver punishment but 28½ year's for someone who gave my everything to protect the United States Constitution and The People of America that I would of gave my life for. The ideals until I tasted combat and saw the lack of humanity of war for barrel's of oil. I returned to a country that was proud of the death and in human toll, and at the cost of my own mental well being 18 medals and two combat patches and the U.S. government and the U.S. Army throwing me away like yesterdays trash, all that so called pride, mom, country and apple pie! Were where you! America when I need your help then as now I see my brother in arms suffer and homeless, drug addicted for the evils they saw, and did in the name of God and country! The blood sweat and tears 75,000 thousand veterans on the back alley's across a country living in a cardboard box! "Shame" on there faces as the think back why couldn't I have died and been an American hero! Now just a sid row bum asking for penny's so you can kill the pain and shame and there the luckly one's. There are others like myself who call prison home sadly coming to prison gave me the medication to help my P.T.S.D. and manic depression where were you America? When I cried put for help! "Shame" you should feel!!! But that is water under the bridge. I am now and have been at war with the corrections system. I hope to believe that I can in act change's that are lasting, as I have now over two New Mexico Tort claims and (3) three civil 1983 against N.M.C.D., Geo Corp. and Corizon/Centurion. But the people that are in the corrections system's as a private prison do not fear the suits as the Corp. pays out! So I've been punished for my activist ideal's and taken from crossing pods a.k.a. (Gods pod) for claiming the Jewish faith, but with a Messiance truth and the Baptist preacher removed me and sent me to the worst of the worst in L.C.C.F. which is housing 4 charlie pod "I believe" in an attempt to have me beat up for not calling myself a Christian and worshiping with active homosexuals, drug dealer's, drug addicts criminal informants, rapist, and child molesters, it's not that I believe I'm better than; "no" I was down there too. But I don't use "YHWH" as my hiding place; I don't preach the word and beat someone over the head with it and turn and sell him a shoot, or put a curtain up and have sex with my so called "bother," and when he can't pay by either of those ways, beat him and make him go into protective custody. Now with that said there are godly men in the "crossing's pod." In the seminary program here at L.C.C.F. But if your there the stigma of the doings you also receive... I'm not saying my crimes or worst or better but the guards and staff and inmates treat you badly, because of what you believe and what the other's do, reflects onto you. I'm not well liked by staff or guards or warden's etc. But I believe wrong is wrong and right is right and I don't run after spending nearly 6 years in maximum security 23 hour lockdown for mostly nothing. Towards the end I was assaulting inmates; but I truly had no choice except to as for protective custody but that is and was a mistake that you can not come back from in prison.... The stigma of being in a unit like that or any program unit is bad enough, the reasoning behind that is there is "no" hope your caught in a revolving door so you dare not go into something like that there's no future if you do in prison. If you America! Would due away with the box, force your will on elected officials to push for productive programs instead of the hate between inmates and stuff we could curve the crime, violence, we need good schools, counseling, educator's that want to change America's ghetto's into center's of learning how to be a productive member and tax payer to the American ideals...

Author: Apodaca, Victor Andrew, Sr.

Author Location: New Mexico

Date: June 22, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 16 pages

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