Cudos to Suzie Jennings and her effort with inmateblogger.com to show the human side of prison inmates! There has to be a better way!
Ted Dekker wrote in his novel “Sanctuary” that prisons are nothing more than “monster factories”. After serving 15 years in prison for crimes I am legally not guilty of I have to agree with Mr. Dekker.
Bad behavior by inmates is rewarded while good behavior is ignored or taken advantage of. This, of course, does not encourage good behavior. And while Pardons and Paroles might tout good behavior as a factor in releasing an inmate from where I’m standing it appears they almost always parole or send a person to a transitional center who has been in and out of prison and who they know will reoffend. My prison doctor told me I am exactly the kind of inmate who cannot get out of prison. I am a model inmate, I am reasonably intelligent, I have no criminal history, and I am not likely to return to prison.
Inmates, such as most 1st offenders, who could be reintroduced into society to contribute positively after serving their sentence are quartered with hardened criminals who should not get out of prison resulting in the 1st offender becoming hardened him/herself. Believe me this negative, oppressive environment will beat down the most resolute of people.
Georgia is practically 1st in the U.S. in prison population and practically last in education and it seems as though the good ol’ boys whose ways are so ingrained into Ga. politics intend for it and seem quite happy to allow it to continue that way.
I have been employed in the workplace from the time I was 16 until my arrest 15 years ago. I had never been in trouble in my life. I have 2 accomplices, both with criminal histories, who are both free and at home now, 1 of whom admits that everything that occurred the night the crimes were committed was her fault.
The crime of armed robbery, like all violent crime, is horrible but thankfully no one was physically hurt or even touched in the 2 minutes in which the robberies occurred yet inmates serving sentences for murder will often serve less time than I will. Also knowing all the circumstances of how the robberies came to happen is important in explaining how I, as an exemplar citizen for 42 years, could be arrested for such crimes, sentenced to serve 21 years on the charges and then given a 10 year consecutive sentence for the same crimes. “Consecutive” means that sentence will not begin until the current sentence is completed.
When I was 1st arrested I was required to talk to the jail psychiatrist who was kind enough to listen to the facts of what had occurred. His response, after hearing how I had been abused by law enforcement and the courts for years leading up to my arrest and how I continued to be abused by law enforcement and the courts after my arrest was that no one wanted to hear those kinds of truths, that people would rather live in denial, not get involved, and pretend that law enforcement and the courts are always honest. And while this may be true in large part there are still those out there who are brave and willing to take a chance to change things for the better.
I know…..I was one. I was a cop for 20 years and I was and still am one of the good guys. I need someone out there to get involved and help me. I know you are out there somewhere.
You can contact me by snailmail at:
Arrendale State Prison D-G-4