Through my many years of travel inside the PA Department of Corrections I've experienced mind shattering atrocities first hand & bone crushing physical abuse from both inmates and correctional officers. Staff misconduct is so common that most inmates are devoid of any hope or justice which changes the morals of the inmates incarcerated. I fell victim to this behavior; so much of the pain & violence I endured was self inflicked (brought on by my own hands). Racism is a persistant reality that is blatant towards black inmates and black guards from white correction officers. I've spent many years inside of the restricted housing units (hole) trying to adjust to doing life in jail. I guess, the older I've become, the more I began to put my trust in Allah (God). My Islamic faith has given me the purpose and reason for my existence. I do not have the answers for solving the problems of mass incarceration, but I can tell you this, "I was once one of them angry young black men and my problems & issues began long before I came to prison". For the most part, incarceration is not apart of the solution, because very few inmates come to jail and learn life skills.
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