If one can get beyond the intentionally oppressive & hostile nature of the prison system, if one can find the strength to pick himself/herself up off the ground after falling, if one can find a sense of clarity & focus….then one can find it in himself/herself to succeed, regardless of the circumstances that have been dictated for them. Success can be had, not only in prison, but when one gets released. I hear people all the time say, I am gonna wait till I get out to do this, I am gonna wait till I get out to do that..honestly, there is no time to wait, change has to be effectuated right here, right now, if one waits till he/she gets out, then it might be to late. The world is a big place full of temptation, that is hard to resist, especially for people that are prone to drug consumption & violence. I know from personal experience: serving a long sentence, decades upon decades, can make one feel like life is over, when the judge agress to the sentencing recommendations, when they order to remand a person to the custody of DOC is final, then in one’s mind it’s pretty much a done dada. One thinks that he/she never might get out, go home & enjoy freedom again. One feels like this is the end, life is over, what is there left to live for? This? Prison? Abusive police, small cramped cells, nasty food, loy paying slave jobs, politicking inmates?? What is the point of doing good & obeying the rules when you have not a dang thing to loose? For me, after being sentenced to 22 years to life, I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation I found myself in, until I had left county, been in some fights, & found myself in the hole/segregation in WCCC (Washington Corrections Center) intake waiting to be transferred to my “mother” institution of Walla Walla Washington State Penitentiary, West Complex, Echo west…Alone in that cell, segregated not only from society, but fellow incarcerated brethren for 1 and a half months, I cried to myself everyday, sometimes till I fell asleep, thinking I am gonna die in prison…I have nothing left to live for, & why me? How could I end up in this situation? I tried to be angry, like I said I got in some fights, I got in some heated arguments, exchanged threats, faced off, squared up, put my dukes up on a fe cats, yelled at the police, cussed them out…After a couple of years, I realized that the only person I was hurting, was me, if I get in a fight, no matter who wins, the wounds heal in a couple days, but the infraction history, the being in the hole/segregation, possibility of facing criminal charges, loosing my job, school, visits, ect…That does damage, some of it which takes years to replace….When the tears stopped & finally dried, I came to realize that being in prison for so long isn’t the worst thing that could possibly happen, loosing who I am as a person, letting the time beat me down & allowing myself to self destruct & fall down a path of self hate, self loathing & wanting to die is the worse that can happen. If one wants to be belligerent & not follow the rules, they have a nice place for them, ultimately at the end of it all, the police go home to they family at the end of the shift, it ain’t no skin off they back.
I too, have a family, & they care for me very much, my actions have not deprived myself of being free, but deprived them the freedom of being with me. After not wanting to do anything, but lay down & die, I realized how many things prison really had to offer….I took advantage of the books in the library, my family orders me books from Amazon all the time, I started to see, there is a future, there is hope. Prison has decent enough classes, programs & mentors who are willing to invest in those who are willing to invest in themselves