It’s January 10, 2016 and am in prison

Petlock, Darryl



Darryl Petlock New Jersey No Title Dear apwa Its January 10, 2016 and am in prison in the Northeast. Most people simply change clothes with the seasons. I am standing here right now wearing a short sleeved yellow one piece jump suit, think a mechanic's uniform. I dont care about the color or even its material; the fabric is rough but I would take a jacket made out of steel wool if it ment that I would no longer be cold. I hear guards say their prisoners; sorry but right now am still a detainee. I once believed that "you were innocent until proven guilty". I tell you now that I was sadly mistaken. I am standing up writing this message to the masses, because the heat within the cells in this section of the county jail is broken. That means the fans on the roof keep blowing, pumping in the outdoor air, not bad when it's seventy degrees outside but what about last night when the temperture dropped down into the single digits, now am trapped in this cell shaking and shivering, am white yet suddenly I have a red nose and ears. But you see no one cares. Once your arrested and find your self behind bars you have no rights, zero because your at the mercy of the guy with the key. I cant get up and turnof the heat, I cant throw on a sweater, because all I have is this here jump suit. I can bitch, complain and file a grievance on the matter. Now I'm suddenly the bad guy, the trouble maker, why because I will not sit here quitely and let people abuse me. My name is Darryl Petlock am not a story, am a actual human being and this is my life. In 2012 the state of New Jersey arrested me and charged me with murder in the death of one of their informants. At the time that this happened I was dating a employee of the jail, and was working in the security industry. So I was placed into what is called protective custody, I have lived here now appx 1,200 days I am locked into a cell 23 a day every day, the lights in these cells stay on 24 hours a day every day. I have never been allowed outside, no am standing here freezing because the heats broken in the dead of winter, I will take the label that am a little crazy if that means that am right in believing that its the jails intent to punish me along with everyone else sitting in here. what I came to realize is that no one in here cares if your innocent or guilty, humans here are simply living products that need to be warehoused for the largest dollar return. Am biased, yes indeed, but am still honest and I believe that the actual truth doesnt need any help telling this sad story backed by federal funding. Which brings me to this vehicle called the New Jersey public defenders office, they are over worked, understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated, so how does one help themselves once in jail or prison, I have come to learn that this path is not easy. No one will fight harder for you than you, so I decided to go to school only people held in protective custody in this jail are not allowed to go to school. But I didnt give up I filed grievances and appealed and appealed until I finally got the warden to agree to allow me to take a paralegal certification course which I personally payed for. Without using the word retaliation - I will simple explain what has happened. Over a 12 month period of time I was only allowed to access the Jails law library for a total of 15 hours, most of the people held here can usually expect to be able to have 150 hours of law library access in a year. Yes people I have a lawyer, what I dont have is the ability to view my electronic discovery. This is the evidence that the state of New Jersey has, they give it to the jail on digital disc's, which can be reviewed while in the law library See the problem, how can I assist my attorney if the jail will not allow me to fully review the evidence against me. The next thing that occured at the same time was that the jail took away my private attorney visits, they told us to work on the case in the jails hallway next to a table of guards and inmate workers. January 7, 2016 we filed a 42 U.S.C.1983 lawsuit against the jail, that is a federal Civil Rights complaint. So while am fighting for the right to see my attorney and review my electronic discovery the matter of my cell not having any heat in the dead of winter becomes a small thing or at least that is the lie that I will tell to myself Because getting mad or crying isnt going to change a single thing inside here nothing a prisoner says is worth a dam to anyone that matters. Maybe now a somebody will stop and listen to a nobody and learn whats really going on and what steps need to be taken in order to change things. But right now am still here walking in place about to pick up this legal book, so that when I finally do get my day in court I will get to go home because a somebody will finally hear me when I say am innocent. Transcribed: 2017-01

Author: Petlock, Darryl

Author Location: New Jersey

Date: October 19, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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