The Common belief of society is that Convicted Felons, don’t think about our victims, or that we sit here in these prison bonds, unremorseful but such a belief is not true. We do work hard in programing to come to grips with the reason why we did the things that landed us in Prison. It’s hard to come to grips with the false appearance of success we achieved in the marginalized Communities we come out of causing us to think more of ourselves than necessary but, we do care about people and especially those whom we have victimized on all sides of the infraction. I want to sincerely apologize to the family of Mark Anderson whom I am solely responsible for taking his life over 32 years ago in 1986. I wish I could change the past, I see in the newspaper every year on his birthday where they still morn. Since I can’t tell Mark Directly, I want more than anything to tell his Family that I am not a monster, or someone full of excuses as to the reason why this tragedy happened. At 25 years old, I simply had no clue about who I was or how to develop myself as a Man and Concerned Citizen with life racing all around me. I lived a life of selfishness and organized recklessness. I believe that some people belong in prison and there are others who they can let go. John Lennon’s killer got out, Ronald Ragan’s shooter was released, Even the man who shot the Pope was given Liberty The Apostle Paul did wonderful works after Aiding in Stephen death. Paul didn’t spend one day in jail. My point is that forgiveness is possible and many times it’s appreciated through good works. The Prison System has not figured out how the identify who these ones are that could be released or who should stay, but the answer is within these populations of prisoners across America. Over the last 10 years there has been an explosive evolution of inmate facilitation inside these prisons and jails. Mental Health is a neglected area of the rehabilitative process, making it even more difficult to identify those who are actually rehabilitated. Solutions are being sought everywhere and I commend the Efforts of prison staff in some facilities but the real solutions lie in the victim/offender bridges and interaction that has only been addressed on a very small scale. I wish it could be bigger and more real, for the sake of the future of repentence and corrections tht falls on the generations coming of Young men and women both in and out of prison. I don’t want my victims to remain anonymous, it’s healing to even mention his name. I am not the same man I was 30 years ago. Everyone in prison and life are not the same misguided souls that they were 30 years ago. There are bad people everywhere, some of those in prison are actually the soution,
not a continuation of the problem. We have found the heart of a human inside of ourselves. We are MENTORS, SKILLED WORKERS, SUPERVISORS OF OTHER INMATES, ARTISTS, DOG HANDLERS, CADRES, FACILITATORS, TRAINERS, and so many more positive things that connects us to our real hearts and hopefully yours. Victims and Prisoners need to see the importance of putting together an alliance that creates the model for forgiveness and healing. we may not all come home but we can confront the stereo-type about who’s inside these antiquated institutions. How can I be the worse of the worse when I am am a first time offender? The Social Justice Movements are exposing so many skeletons in Americas closets. Soon with the fear and expectation of fear of things that may happen there will be no more room in prison for the guilty, Politicians are suddenly interested in Prison Reform because soon, many of them will occupy one of the bed spaces. The Men who has victimized all these women out there are quickly being discovered and yet they continue roaming free as America slowly desensitizes itself to all the bad done by these people who have money. If I gave 100 testimonies from my colleagues in here, would it justify my human heart. One witness testimony convicted me, but 100 cannot free me? even after 32 years? What if I have saved 50 lives since my incarceration, do that count as Ransom? Has any of those saved lives reached back or leaned in to say thanks? Was the effort for the purpose of personal recognition or just a way to pay it forward? As I continue in this effort to expose the restored heart of the incarcerated me, I beg you to connect with me on j-pay in order to create in me a window for your amazing love, forgiveness and energy to flow through and put a mirror there too, so the reflection of what you are about can be enjoyed by everyone I meet and share this HEART OF A HUMAN I possess. Even after all these years. I AM.
Anthony D. Simmons
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