Elysha Fallins

Concerns About Post-Release Living, by Elysha Fallins

So, I’m not exactly sure how to “Blog”, so I’ll just write my thoughts as I attempt to process them in my mind. As I sit in this cell for 23 hours a day trapped behind these walls, the only thing I have is TIME to think about who I am as a person and as a man. As of lately I’ve sat here and watched hours on top of hours of press conferences and breaking news, regarding the deaths of so many African American men. The stands that have been taken and the unity of our people is an amazing thing to see. I come from a neighborhood where police officers didn’t do drive throughs or even respond to our calls for help. A place where there is little to no light for young African Americans, where it’s everyman for himself. I remember being beaten by officers when I was 14years old and the only thing they wanted was my money and jewelry. I wasn’t arrested or processed for anything. So seeing the things taking place right now in order to create some kind of change is wonderful. At the same time its frightening because after coming home from almost a decade long imprisonment there’s so much to adapt to. My whole life I’ve done things one way and it has NEVER worked. I’ve never accomplished what I’ve told myself I would, using the methods I’ve adopted through out my life. And now all these years later, I’ve realized conforming isn’t going to be enough, I have to transform entirely to become a new and better me. I’ve accepted that as a man and a citizen a job (Something I’ve never had) is something that I will have to obtain. Responsibilities that I’ve never for seen are a part of life and I keep reminding myself I’m not a 17year old boy anymore. Then, there’s America today, full of protest and uproar. Coronavirus has swept through the world and altered life as we know it before we knew what was taking place. What am I going to do once I’m home? How do I find my stability and peace of mind in a place where neither of those things currently exist? How am I suppose to come home and seek out support in order to gain employment and to build structure when there aren’t even any jobs for the people who HAVEN’T been labeled as a menace or waste of time? I will be entering a society that will only see me as extra weight and I will remain so far down on the totem poll of priorities that it will be disgusting. I want to come home and have a CHANCE, without worrying about police targeting a recently released convict. With my previous encounters with the law and all the things taking place today, I would rather run and take my chances of getting away (rather I’m guilty or not of any wrong doings) then encountering any persons of authority with an agenda. That should NEVER be the case. With my background should I genuinely be worried about if I’ll encounter an officer who will see me as an opportunity to get even for some wrong he feels he’s endured in the past? I know I may seem paranoid but through out my life I’ve seen and experienced the things that are being protested today. I’ve been targeted just because I’ve entered a store in a certain neighborhood and made people uncomfortable by simply being an African american man. Where do people in my position look to seek comfort and reassurance? How do we transition into a world that already thinks so lowly of us without all of the events taking place? I don’t know but I hope I’m giving a fair opportunity once I’m released and that I’m allowed a chance to live my life without worrying about some random officer taking it or without worrying that I won’t beable to take care of myself. Its bad enough how African Americans as a whole are being treated but don’t forget about us black men behind these walls either. We are People as well, not just Numbers or a Pay Check but Humans. Not, someone to be beaten by Correction Officers Or sprayed with mase like animals while they slam our faces into doors and walls. Our lives aren’t valued inside these prisons, where inmates our choked to death and said to have hung themselves. Degraded and dehumanized by authority everyday as were stripped naked and violated with uneccessary searches. As we are deprived of our rights and left to suffer and rot. I tell Anyone who is listening, INSIDE THESE WALLS US BLACK MEN ARE SUFFOCATING AS WELL.

Elysha Fallins
DOC #a679809

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