The US prison system has done unimaginable damage to humanity
Fella’s Prison Penitent
Nelson Mandela said “A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones”. I say that’s America’s prisoners.
Prison reform has become a prominent issue that no one seems to know exactly how to address. Even I, considering myself as a sensible offender, am not sure how we can solve it’s issues. In dealing with mass incarceration and our criminal justice system, I must say, Houston we have a problem.
I could express my feelings and dealings with the system, but that’s so far removed from penitent or the penitentiary. Simply, we have a system where double standards are common and to be criminal only means you can not defend yourself. I thought that if I told the truth that maybe it would be set free.
After being denied the opportunity to have a defense and prove my self innocent…
I became bitter, hateful and hurt…
like no one cared…
But even worse was realizing that justice didn’t exist. That equity is a figment of man’s vain imagination. That all men were created criminal. That the only thing that made me different was that I was dumb enuff to get caught.
At least that’s what prison has showen me.
After being in prison six years, I can confirm that power unchecked corrupts absolutely. Every layer of our justice system is a web of oppression and corruption. If I do not continue to educate myself, I will be doomed. Succomb to a system that turns man into beast. So I am picking up a book to know thy self.
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| Written by Willie McDowell 01997735
| Visuals by Mary Ellen Mark @MaryEllen_Mark, Brook Pete @brookpete, NYTimes.com Focusing on Prison Photography, Richard Ross @juvenileinjust, @The Atlantic, vlog Brothers