by Terry Little

Surrounding the prison system there’s a prevalent debate on whether those who are addicted to drugs should be sent to prison for drug crimes. However, there’s a resounding disparity that lingers in this process, which involves color barriers as to whether race plays a factor in deciding who deserves to be imprisoned. There is no statistics to show how many black men are out in the world selling drugs, nor can it be determined whether they are also using, yet they’re incarcerated still for drug offenses and convicted.
Coming from an incarcerated man as myself however, the disparity argument doesn’t matter, nor figuring out if one sells drugs because there is no definitive evidence to determine this, the system convicts to fill the prison system, and it’s nothing against the system because there must be a system in place to combat iniquity, but addiction is a ubiquitous matter, but solvable. Addicts need help, this is something everyone is aware….

and yet, steady conflict overshadows potential progress. Legislation is one of those huge hurdles where the fight begins in the form of prison reform.
Troubled addicts should not imprisoned in prison institutions, rather, likely should be confined to a place to remind them how important they are and their families are. There are risk and repercussions behind imprisoning addicts. One is; addicts are able to get their hands on drugs in prison as easy as they’re to on the streets, but in prison the situation is a bit more dire, and quantity wise, but tantilisingly torturous. For example:
After smoking cigarettes for some years, then suddenly end up in prison where tobacco is banned your quantity is limited, yet you’re able to cater your vice in rations, and if you were never able to wing yourself off inside, those small rations that one was reliant on, once released creates a more desperate desire to an entire pack of cigarette, it becomes innate.
And I’m far from a psychiatrist, but I am a visual witness to the blight, to which I was once responsible for.
So I know the answer for addicts isn’t incarceration for some, rather there aught to be an alternative process to reshape the addicted mind.
Just a thought….

Terry Little
DOC #A562207

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