At the age of twenty I was a first time offender sentenced to a prison sentence of thirty to life. Seven years later it was overturned and is now twenty to life. I am a first time offender but I am the cause of another mans death. That’s a story for another time. Having never been in or around the system I hadn’t a clue as to what it entailed. Every step has been a nightmare. I went straight to 23 hour lock down due to the seriousness of my crime. I had limited interaction with my loved ones. My prosecutor knew the victims family and wanted the death penalty even though his superiors said it wasn’t a death penalty case due to the victims extensive back ground. My attorney’s have lied to my family and I both times hence how I was angle to get the first sentence over turned. I accept responsibility for my failure in life. I hate revisiting that time and I hate the pain that I have caused so many. I wish that I could change everything including my involvement with the victim and that world of drugs.
In the darkest moments of my life as I was thrown away to prison and watched it crush those I care so deeply for I thought tat if I were gone from this life that perhaps it would ease their pain. After imagining how much more crushing it would be for them to hear of this and how it would haunt them forever I knew such an option was anything but. I went in the complete opposite direction a direction of redemption. I decided that this time will not be wasted. I looked every direction for betterment only to realize that due to my lengthy sentence I was unable to be a part of “programing”. The “system” didn’t want me to deprogram after taking any classes. On top of that we are speaking about a system that is so overcrowded that those classes are specifically for the people in need of them, the ones about to get out. So I had to do it on my own. My loved ones sent me books and I read and re-read and applied and practiced and studied and applied and it is a constant process, but my god it has been a phenomenal trip.
See, I chose to not just be warehoused. I chose to mold myself in to a better man. It has been a beautiful process and complicated at the same time. Imagine trying to better yourself in an environment that is constantly negative and being surrounded by men that don’t want to be better and hate you for wanting it for yourself as if you’re better than them. I studied the subconscious mind, I studied the body and fitness/exercise, I studied investing, and have read some of the greatest self-help books ever written. I’ve developed my mind and body and have searched deeply about what it is that is truly important in this life meaning if you will.
I had meetings with our warden about trying to speak to troubled youth to try and veer them from a path such as this. He allowed for us to start a mentor program that much like Idaho’s system is a baby step to a much bigger underlying issue. It is a constant struggle to want to be better and do better for yourself and others and constantly run into road blocks.
I had a warden thank me for my institutional record. It was amazing to hear and caught me off guard. Most wardens would never, but that warden was special in a great way. But he often would never remember who I was. He knew every head to every gang, the dangerous guys are known, but on e opposite side, the guy that stays clear of drama, stops fights from happening, helps others through hard times, wants to promote living a life free of harming others and throwing away years to prison can’t get any recognition and seems to struggle in any goal of getting positive things accomplished. I wrote every juvenile detention center in this state offering my help. I focus daily on perfecting who I am so that I never fail again and in fact can be an amazing human for this world. Yet that is where the struggle arrives. Stuck in a system so focused in the wrong directions that they are blind to how to really make a difference.
It is a shame to be a part of this entity. I graduated high school early. I traveled our country to leadership conferences and fell into a world of selling drugs and using and when I realized what I had become I had to get out which ultimately led to my crime. My point is I am not a fool. I standout at every institution I go to. I work the most responsible jobs and my bosses ALWAYS ask, “what are you doing in prison?” I see the issues within and I know what needs to be done to fix them but have no platform to shout. Being held by this system with no hope for reform or change while they just look to send more inmates out of state in hopes to get a new prison approved to be built rather than focus on the real issues is disgusting to me. I’m completely aware of my debt to society for my actions. I just wish that I could pay it in a better way. I wish that I could be a tool, a being that fights the fires that are destroying homes, help at the floods that are ruining communities, speak to troubled youth, raise money for great causes, be the difference to this world rather than be a debt to the tax payers. I crave responsibility and at the same time I am a troubleshooter by nature. I see a problem and figure out how to fix it and am willing to do the work. This system needs work and since there is so many other states to look at that get it and are different, it makes you wonder if they want change, or if they want more issues? It is a struggle when one cares.
Categories: Trevor Booth