INMATES & FREEDOM

A LIFER’S STUGGLE FOR FREEDOM, by Terry Little

The mission of handing down a life sentence is to parish one who has done wrong from society; to assure safety; to give a family closure subsequent to a loss, or sometimes, for whatever reason the courts deems the charge is worthy of a sentence. The conviction shall often times bring along steep sentences consolidated with this life sentence, which entails decades, centuries and/or eternity, though one may never live for centuries or eternity, this sort of lengthy sentencing tends to quell the publics bridled fears.
And the banishment, in some cases, when hearing about the crime committed, is agreeably reasonable.
But I would like for you to hear of my life of ambiguity as a lifer, where the walls are your protector and the guards are a part of the system that locks away, and analogous, they too are under key as I, little do they know. They live here just as well as I do, waiting as I do to return home to their families.
The true protector is the walls and locked doors. The walls you’re familiar with, because every cell you’ve slept in has four, it holds no secrets, and they reveal their soul by hoisting light outside shone in from bar studded windows. The doors seldom relaxes tension from a day of close encounters with those you live among. Once it’s locked you’re assured your safety for that night.
I’ve stressed in thought, and sometimes on paper, the adversity a man serving a life sentence is challenged with daily. I’ll explain:
The right to a trial by a court is a constitutional right. Many men and woman facing such aforementioned sentences, or charges they do not agree with usually elect for a trial before a judge. If found guilty the convicted is entitled to an appeal–which is not a constitutional right, rather it’s a court rule–The convicted is entitled to three of these appeals, to three levels of courts; Appellate Court, The State Supreme Court, and to a District Court of Appeals.
These levels apply stringent rules to those convicted as indigent defendants and decides to challenge their conviction prose. Some are held prejudicially to the level of an attorney, even though they hadn’t once in their lives prior to being incarcerated studied law.
When these appeals are exhausted the convicted are rendered hopeless. Now one must depend on a system called the Parole Board Committee, which is a group of members who decides whether to grant an inmate serving a life sentence parole, which is release from prison, this avenue is not always a guarantee.
In this reality, the requirements one must fulfill to be considered eligible for parole are: good behavior, a number of completed programs, and other things. However, though this isn’t mentioned to you after conviction or upon entry of a prison facility, the system practically leaves it up to the convicted on what path he shall choose inside.
So when one chooses a pernicious path, it isn’t the systems fault, rather it’s the individual’s ill decision.
The system’s lack responsibility comes in when it decides to mix the pernicious among those whose desire is to create a better future for himself and those around him or her. Whose intention is to correct the perception that he was previously ascribed.
Recently I learned that a pernicious individual stole from one who desires. The Desiree is stuck between a rock and a hard place–he could either report what happened to him, which could then possibly subject him to continuous verbal and physical abuse wherever he goes from other inmates, or he retaliates, risking the chance of being charged with another crime and jeopardize his freedom when he’s due to go before the parole board. In this sort of predicament, the guards could care less and the system only considers you a number that doesn’t deserve to be amongst the numbers in society.

A Lifer’s Struggle For Freedom.

Terry Little
DOC #562207

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