The purpose of this letter is to initiate collaboration among all activist for justice organizations on behalf of prisoners seeking to educate themselves for the betterment of themselves and community at large. We feel that all humanitarian organizations in leading in the development of our communities and addressing the issues concerning us as a people can serve as the rallying point for the present day problems we face as a people. Our main concern at this time is raising the level of literacy among prisoners. We know that most of us have not had the benefit of higher education and most likely will not get that chance in our present circumstances. But we cannot let that deter us from this duty to educate ourselves. We are taking the initiative to do this ourselves. This would be the foundation upon which all our efforts in other fields would rest. Only an educated people can truly make the effort to change situations and overcome obstacles in their way. By the sharping of our intellects and the broadening of our knowledge, we can make necessary contributions to the struggle of breaking the cycle of destruction now gripping our communities. One simple truth is the fact that many youth look up to individuals who are incarcerated. The influence that we now hold with the youth can be used for righteous purposes if we can successfully change the mentality of prisoners. Right now, the system is offering nothing in the way of developing prisoners. We are simply being warehoused. As the years go by, the programs get fewer and the resources less for the benefit of developing prisoners. We can't depend on the system that profits off of our ignorance to change. They will not change because of the simple fact that crime pays big money. Why spend money to rehabilitate and correct when the whole system has made it profitable to lock us away? Heavy investments in prison stock means that they are on the prowl always for human merchandise. Since this has divested the community in particular, we have to take the responsibility to combat this epidemic. It should be plain why this issue concerns the community as a whole. Inmates need purpose while they are back here. When a man becomes educated he realizes that he is not helpless and that he has power to change his condition, provided he unites with others and raises them to his level. No man can do it alone. Our history as a country shows that unity is the only way we have ever overcome our obstacles. By promoting collective unity that building ties across racial lines we can educate ourselves for the purpose of putting our minds to use. We want to correspond with all individuals who are interested and involved in activism concerning our plight as a country. The exchange of ideas among different sectors of diverse cultural society is very powerful and serves as the spearhead to unified action among us that will solve our problems collectively. Therefore, it is imperative of the promotion of consciousness. Our sons and daughters are not dead to society, for better or worst we are coming back. A call to action of restoration and liberation through educating inmates and society- all jointly working in concert. We want to dialogue with churches, universities, charitable institutions, activist organizations, etc. The communication will lead to unified action among us. Mass incarceration should be a concern to all in the community as it is devastating our culture. To not combat this is to doom our children to destruction. The issue is not only the fact that we are locked away from our communities, but we are further abused by the institutions we reside in. Lack of healthcare, lack of nutritious food, lack of programs for development, human rights abuses, racist attacks, exorbitant prices for necessities of food and hygiene that causes inmate on inmate violent crimes, etc. All contribute to the deterioration of minds and bodies, often resulting in premature deaths, insanity, and hopelessness that feeds the criminal mentality by many seeking solace in gang activity. This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of destruction. No one in the community is immune from this disaster. It has touched probably every family in some way. We as prisoners have to take the initiative to combat this destruction. We have to break the mental and spiritual chains that bind us to this destructive lifestyle. But we can't do it alone. The outside support is crucial. The community should know that when prisoners attempt to do something positive, the system attacks them and/or interferes with the work. The reason is simple: if prisoners become productive, intelligent, responsible individuals then the rate of prisoners returning to prison will be reduced which will mean less money for these peddlers of human flesh. They will attempt to isolate individuals and harass them if there is no one on the outside concerned with their plight. The most important need though is the moral support of the community, the love and concern for our plight. Thank you kindly for taking the time to read this and may this be the fruitful beginnings of collaborative efforts to combat this deterioration of our communities.
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