Works of Art
"Incarceration changed my life", I uttered to the immaculate soul sitting across from me. In this very audible, dull and dingy looking room sat my biggest supporter, my mom.
In August, 2017, I was unaware that I would be embarking on a long, lonesome and drawn out journey as a State of Connecticut, Department of Corrections inmate. I was welcomed by illiterate jail house lawyers, the smell of body odor, vomit and unpleasing Correctional Officers. Self-pity and self-consciousness kicked in as I was stripped of my clothing; followed by a gruesomely cold shower.
I quickly confirmed that the circumstances are not like the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black". Jail is not a playhouse! There is a multitude of issues that arise while being a inmate, a female and a minority. A great number of the women I've come across expressed they are addicts and/or alcoholics, just like myself. Their lives had spiraled out of control, just like mine did. "Desperate times called for desperate measures", said a lady who has been a frequent visitor to the facility.
There is simply not enough people who care about the deep-rooted issue, which is: WHY there is such a high recidivism rate.
Little to nothing good comes from being jailed. Fortunately for me I am at a point in my life where all I want to do is change. I refuse to continue being a product of my environment.
Not everyone is at a stage in their life where they're willing to change. This is most likely due to past life circumstances such as grief and loss, addiction, and homelessness. A lot of us have trauma and trauma affects everyone differently. Personally, prison has zero resources to rehabilitate and mend a broken person. As women we need to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle without abuse, neglect and abandonment. When will the system learn to help us instead of mistreat us? Seems like they never will, because this is a however many dollar industry. As long as the door keeps revolving with unhealthy beings these unfit prison conditions will remain. This includes the mold in our rooms or the brown water we're suppose to drink. It's deplorable! Never mind the inhuman 20-24 hours a day in a less than 8x10 cell.
As proficient individuals we need to learn how to change ourselves, in spite of the odds. We shall stand up for what we believe in and empower others. In life, every setback is a plan for a greater comeback! If you're able to endure what is set forth by the hindrance prison system, you can handle anything life throws at you.
If you're reading this I want to remind you, your worth it! You too can change your life. You see, we're like a piece of clay on a wheel. We are molded, reworked and then formed into something beautiful. This act of creation requires time, nurturing and precision. When you fall or fail , gather your broken pieces and begin to remold and reshape. We're all works of art in progress. Don't give up! It's in our setbacks that we become fertile ground for transformation.
Even though we are distinguished by numbers while we're imprisoned, we MUST remember we are so much more than just a number. Some of us are daughters, sisters, mothers, cousins, and most of all beautiful souls!
Like an addict, we claim,"we can quit at anytime we want". Quit the cycle of recidivism once and for all. But first we need motivational advice, resources, and opportunities to equal the best transition into the community. Yet, we are not sufficiently rehabilitated. How could the system fail us women? Unjustifiable.
Remember I told you in the beginning,"Incarceration changed my life?" Well, it will also change the lives of all who are incarcerated. I will promise you all that I will never give up on you! I will be the biggest advocate I can be. I will make changes in the prison system, to the best of my ability.
By: Enysia Rosado
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