I am compelled to depict the hypocrisy that permeates society, the injustices of the criminal justice system and the need for penal reform.
The misperceptions of those incarcerated are incalculable. The fact is, inside the barb wired fencing of prison you’ll find every kind of humanity. Albeit on a smaller scale, prison is merely a miniature version of society at-large. Are there sociopaths and dangerous individuals in prison? Absolutely, but you have them in your neighborhoods too. Are there civilly minded people locked up for making some poor decisions in their lives? Absolutely, but there are exponentially more out there in your communities who simply haven’t been caught.
It appears to me, from someone who has now lived in both environments, that we’ve become a society that is quick to want to place labels on each other. Why does society feel a need to brand an individual? Is it to help define their own self-worth? I confess that I don’t have all the answers but I am adamant that my past transgressions do not and will not define me and what I still may become and achieve in this World.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has labelled me a convicted felon, but my family and friends simply call me, John. I am currently serving a 55 year combined sentence for illicit sexual behavior. This is the first of what I pray will be weekly blogs that’ll bring some enlightenment while shedding light on the failures of civilization as we know it.
John Hamilton, #1442949
Virginia Dept. of Corrections
Nottoway Correctional Center
2892 Schutt Red / PO Box 488
Burkeville VA 23922