Opportunity

Milbourn, Matthew A.

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American Prison Writing Archive 198 College Hill rd Clinton, NY 13323-1218 Opportunity 12/23/19 Incarceration doesn't have to be a negative experience. Although some adversity is needed to deter future bad choices - bettering yourself is always benificial. It's all in the attitud you choose to take. An opportunity, for change, is being given to you that is usually not available in the free-world: few distractions to interfere with your studies. If you choose to ignore the bad behaviors being practiced by other inmates (seemingly promoted by lack of prison policy and rule enforcement), you can learn many useful things - limited only by the amount of information available to you. Beginning when I was a young child I had (and still have) a need to know how things work. I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up - later an engineer - but too many distractions hampered these persuits. Thruout my life, employment and hobbies were in the fields of machine repair - working as a millwright, mechanic, and maintenance man - building and repairing anything needing such, even in my "spare" time. Now, incarcerated for bad choices, I have studied (and am studying) all the science, math, mechanics (and some law) thats available to me. At Michigan's most southern prison, LCF, I met an inmate (also a machine repairer) that had an idea for a sine-wave engine (goggle it). Together we developed his idea into some new concepts of application. Using my life experiences and prison studies, I have further advanced those basics into working drawings of buildable engines Pg-2 oppertunity 12/23/19 with advantages of high power output from small displacements. Since being moved to a Northern Prison, KCF, (as retaliation for writing valid grievances) my studies are somewhat stifled. The prison library has no index or catalog of what it contains. You can't browse its contents. You must tell a clerk what you are looking for (interested in) - he goes and gets a stack of books for you to choose from. But how can you request what you don't know is available or not? Clerks are expected to (magically) read your mind: And this is conducive to library use? Michigan dept of Corrections (MDOC) policy, Pd.05.03.130, Institutional Library Services, says: "Each library shall be functional in design." "Librarians shall be responsible for: 1. assisting prisoners; 3. promoting library use,... and shall maintain a comprehensive range of library services." A library isn't a library without an organized index or catalog of its contents. It's not functional. It doesn't assist. There is no promotion of use. Services are not comprehensive!!! The above policy also says 'relationships shall be established and maintained with other libraries, (Plural.) to provide prisoners with access, to greater amounts of, and variety of information thru interloans! But only one other library, here, is accessible for interloans - not the Michigan Electronic Library (MEL) Pg-3 opportunity 12/23/19 system other Michigan prison facilities use. So more MDOC policies are broken which are in place to give prisoners some positive opportunities in their repayment of their debts to society - ways to improve themselves, thru learning and do "good" things; rather than bad. What is the reasonable motive for these hindrances? There is none! This is just more of the deception practiced in Michigan prisons: saying there is a facility library but without you knowing what it contains - only impediments, encumbrance, restriction, restraint; hendrance for even the opportunity of self-learning that can give a prisoner change for the better - to a mostly negative experience! Matthew Milbourn

Author: Milbourn, Matthew A.

Author Location: Michigan

Date: December 23, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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