Mind games

Peters, John E., Jr.



As most "Lifers” know, the key to doing time is by actually doing the time. Time does not do them. As a Lifer, we mentally leave the outside ‘world and concentrate on serving our sentence. We know that there is a minimum portion that must be served before being considered for early release. After serving our minimum sentence,’ we begin the mental process of transitioning ourselves back into society. This process is taken very seriously. As, most of us have served decades confined and not having to think or even worry about supporting ourselves. This mental process becomes heightened during the parole release process. We begin thinking about the what if’s l?) and could we really be paroled? ‘Then it happens. You get a Parole Release Decision. Now, your whole world changes. You must begin preparing for the future. Everything you have been told about a successful reentry is about to take place. In order to prevent recidivism you start preparing yourself. Your mind set changes from imprisonment to freedom. You're actually living with one foot outside the prison boundaries. They told you you're going home. It's finally over! Now, it's time to put into action all you've been told and learned. You have to begin thinking in terms of release. After all, the Parole Board decided that you were; ”...suitable to be released". Your mindset changes to a positive, successful reentry. You get assigned a Parole Officer. They approve your A—Plan Piacement address. No problems. You attend a Job Fair sponsored by the Institution, and actually get hired and secured meaningful employment for yourself. Your family and friends all support you and begin purchasing items that you will need. In your mind, everything begins to take shape as you mentally transition yourself from inmate to parolee. Suddenly, you receive a STOP RELEASE Notice! Ok, one more hurdle to overcome. It's not quite the end of the world yet. However, before you realize it, you simply blinked your eye and when you opened it back up you are serving TEN (10) more years! Not just a year or two or even a couple more years, but an entire DECADE. What happened, you ask yourself? How could you go from being suitable to be released all the way to ten more years? What did they find? What was presented? Was there another charge you weren't aware of? No, no, and no! It took a few months, but you learned that someone just didn't want you out. How does one mentally return their self back into serving another entire decade after being granted a parole release? How do you tell your brain it was all for nothing? How do you return back now? There is no on/off switch to instruct your brain on how to deal and survive this torturous ordeal. No one cares though. Just do it, they tell you! They don't care how you do it, just take it, and shut up, don't complain, don't ask, and don't — whatever you do show any contempt! This is what the Ohio Parole Board has done to me. This is my story. The Public Defender assigned to represent me at the Open Full Parole Board Hearing explained; this ten year release rescission was the Board's way of flexing their power. This was his exact wording. ”Flexing” their power? So, apparently the need to punish me for another decade was to show how much power they hold? To date, I have served six (6) years of the ten (10) year rescission. l have asked for reconsideration. Requested several times for re-evaluation and re-examination. Nothing. The Ohio Parole Board refuses to review or have another look at this. They are adamant about their refusal to reconsider this decision. Did I need another decade of imprisonment? What do I say or tell them when I return after serving the ten years? There remains nothing I can say to them that will change the events that lead me to incarceration. JOHN E. PETERS .lR., #A209-244

Author: Peters, John E., Jr.

Author Location: Ohio

Date: July 11, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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