Ali Jabbaar

Smoking Mirrors By Ali Jabbaar (aka: Ace)

The “system” needs a change. Part of the definition in system means a group of things working together … I do see a lot of things working together in the system but its not for the right cause. I understand a punishment for a crime committed. But if I’m not mistaken, part of the system was suppose to include rehabilitation and correction. This is the lost cause.
Behind these walls is more hopelessness, discouragement, and cruel and unusual punishment that is becoming more usual and normal. Makes you think this is what “they” set out to do to people/inmates when creating this prison system. And if it wasn’t, why not tear this thing down and start from scratch.
People with mental health issues, the first answer is doping them up. And as long as they’re taking their meds, they don’t care about rehabilitation or corrections. No talking to someone, no help with planning for the future or anything. I witnessed someone going to get medication everyday. But when I looked in their cell, smh, Halloween size spider webs and spiders, ant hills of roaches, garbage can full of unopened mail from loved ones and appointments that he never made it to; stained sheets, and an odor of death. When loved ones called the prison concerning the inmates, of course they would say “he’s fine” because he was not dead but he sure wasn’t living. They allowed me to get him together and I took it further to reach his loved ones and let them know what was going on with him and that he need not be on the medication. One of his relatives happened to be his now 72 yea old sister. She has been a great mentor and friend to me ever since. But had I not intervened, I told the guy the truth ” your gonna die in here if you dont take care of yourself because ‘they’ are not going to.” And that’s the truth.That’s the systems hope and encouragement that we just give up on life and die.

Another thing about this system is the design is way harder on our loved ones than it is on inmate after a while. In the beginning, its equally hard. But once an inmates find their way in here, if family remains, we still have them but they don’t have us, so who is receiving the harsher sentence. Why do some people get more time than a murder. Who decides how long it takes for one to learn their lesson. And I’m not naive to the crime rate, these young heartless individuals who constantly are killing and robbing but everyone should not be held in the same microscope. I just don’t understand how the court room is suppose to be under God. Well what God? The old testament? because it sure isn’t under the new testament. where is the forgiveness. A lot of inmates coming in the system are kids and don’t know any better. If they havent learned their lesson, it will show under their institutional record. It will reflect somewhere. Under that same light, good will reflect. Just like when being sentenced, we get sentenced based upon the good and bad intent. So why not judge the same when one and ones family is in search of freedom.

I want freedom. At the same time, I see all the senseless killings and the bad drug /opioid epidemic. I’m not leaving this place rich where I can escape the inner city where most of these problems occur. So what are ones alternate options upon leaving prison. not saying there aren’t any, but there damn sure aren’t many. My family tells me they find comfort in me being in prison where I’m at least safe from guns. They don’t know about the many other dangers in this place(Lebanon Corrections that is labeled condemned on the website and that has been making headlines for assaults and killings and that’s only what makes headline). As happy as I am that they find some comfort in all of this, I won’t be in prison forever. 5 and a half more years. I hear more store(jobs) closing down. I’ve not heard one person who left the joint give praise to the prison reentry programs. No matter how long you spend in the joint, they only give you $75 upon leaving with the felony.
Do I have all the answers no. I’m just giving a little exposure to my thoughts that are most likely some else’s thought and can only hope this reaches someone. Not even just someone in position of power. Some one who has a heart will do just fine. Someone who is unenlightened about these things will do great. speaking for myself and probably someone else, I’m not sitting here just waiting to get out. I am one trying to prepare for my future. I am one not just thinking about myself and will forget about this place when I leave. I have kids who are apart of the other system or is it all the same system?(foster care) Hoping they don’t have to see behind these walls ever. but it could be someone elses relative behind these walls. Its too real in here. And from the outside looking in you may not get all the right angles. I. reading this, I hope that you open your mind to everything I have shared. That’s it really. And if this moves you in some type of way, take action. Action could be as simple as voting for someone in the position of power who you believe could really make a difference; reach out to a loved one behind the walls and see whats really going on with them; reach out to someone new; pray for us; share this and help my voice. I have a lot to give. this was just a preview. I plan on giving lighter sides of me but I want this one to set the stage and stand out. I believe I am of sound mind most of the time. lol But this could be the voice of someone who has it way worst than me and is not of sound mind to express or get exposure to whatever it is they may be going thru.

Shot out to the families holding loved ones down behind the walls. Please continuing to give love and encouragement. And do what u need to do so that they have something to come home to. Don’t stress about the constant commissary on the books. Its a greater cause outside of these walls that they will need. Their future

Ali Jabbaar
DOC #623086

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