so it is election time.the mid terms are here an i have to see these commercials of slander an assault on character day in an day out…i really wouldnt know who to vote for if i could but i do know that there is a issue i do support.its called issue 1,from what i know it has to do w taking funding from the prison system an applying it to the community so that our young people are not forced to be locked away in this broken system an warehoused while the state pays roughly 30 some thousand dollars a yr for what is supposed to be ‘the dept of rehabilitation an correction’…i have lived in this odrc for almost ten years now an i can assure u there is very little rehabilitation or correction.there is much solitary confinement an an attitude of indignation toward us by administration an officers…we are looked at as less than an treated as such.the education program here is sadly understaffed an ill equipped.the opportunity for programming or education in spirtuality or vocational skills or parenting an basic social reform and awareness isnt attainable to most….i can speak for the population vaguely cause i live here but i can speak for myself factually cause i have no option for self improvement or furthuring my education….i am serving 3 life sentences without the eligibility for parole….a qualification for most ‘on paper’ programs is that u have 5 years or less to the street…i will never qualify so i am not worthy in the eyes of odrc to be offered the help i need to be a better long distance daddy to my children.to attain higher education or to just continue to grow as a man an evolve from lost yung man i was when i entered this system.
in my time here i have had opportunity to talk to many guys that have a chance to step foot back out in the free world an pursue their dreams an be there for family…i always stress the importance of education an opportunity an for them to be positive an focus on what u have rather than what u dont.to work hard an cherish the love an support of mothers an fathers…as those are the people we usually dissapoint an effect the most by our actions.they are also usually the ones in our lives that support us no matter what…..i have seen so many of these guys come back through these gates after such a short time out there.it is sad an breaks my heart.i would give so much for that chance is my first thought but after that moment of selfishness i wonder why…why couldnt they make it.didnt they have someone they wanted to make proud or someone that depended on them….all to often the answer is that they are overwhelmed an revert back to past behavior cause they had no tools or support system…because the time they spent in here was poorly used an they were treated as less than worthy,less than human.an its sad to say but most guys an woman dont come into these enviroments an have the drive to change behavior or even admit it was their own fault they’re here in the first place….someone always snitched or it was someone elses fault…there isnt any positive or safe place to make theirselves vulnerable enough to strip away the defense mechanisms an break down the walls they put up just to survive their lifestyle previously or the enviroment in here,behind these walls….
instead the odrc is more of a place to flip a dollar…big business.we are counted an locked down an forgotten about untill its time for us to spend our famlies hard earned money for the simplest of things….food,clothing,hygeine,electric,books,magaines,pictures an just about any other creature comfort u can name that is needed just to maintain a state of self esteem an personal value,even a state of positive mental health,we are charged for it…we arre denied due process an we are subbjected to extreme threats of violence an intimidation by staff.men an woman who are ill educated,ill trained an most definitely dealing w issues all their own that they bring w them to this job where the ability to abuse another human being to let off steam is entirely too easy to get away w.we are subjected to chemical torture in the form of bear mace an pepper ball paint guns…poor drinkin water an contaminated food…..but money is collected an pocketed without any thought of putting it into reshaping an reforming,downsizing this broken system…
we are men here….sons and fathers and brothers….not all career criminals,not all abusers an thieves an deviants…..not all of us know how to ask for help…and this system isnt designed to make it readily available…but its my understanding that issue 1 will provide that option to those who need it most…..the addicted…the lost…the young who have so much to learn….the leaders who dont even know what they are capable of cause noone took the time to show them……
23 hour lockdown is not the answer.breakin a mans will to speak out an be treated fairly is not the answer.making a human being a form of equity,a cog in the prison industrial complex that soaks up our communities resources an takes men out of the communty for decades is not the answer…treatment,compassion for fellow man,patience to teach an instill confidence….that is the answer…equality among all colors,race,an gender an the opportunity to experience a positive role model and guidance is the answer.
as i said i do not qualify for any treatment or educattion…but issue 1 is a step in the right direction for our loved ones an family that do.its what i see as the first step in a long journey to repair a broken sytem.
vote yes on issue 1……godbless
Edward Martino III