Tuesday, June 14, 2016

6-13-2016
Lockdown VS Education: Is It More Effective To Keep Prisoners Broken?
As I write this I am on lockdown. The whole institution is. I have been through this before, usually only lasts a few days. This time may or may not be different. No one knows.
Usually its because they found shoes by the fence and need to make sure it was just stupidity on a civilians part and not an inmates paraphernalia. Sometimes its a massive fight somewhere. This time it was a massive fight and warning shots were fired and the sirens went off. This is old hat for maximum security, but this is mostly minimum. Shots fired and sirens isn't the norm. 
For us we educate and work, write our families and work on our futures. We write business plans, follow the Stock Market and read every self-help we can find. We workout and guys like me are worried how their hair is going to react to the coastal winds. Will my lips be chapped today? Do I need lotion? Should I go for the slicked back look or comb it all forward and fluff it up? One of my biggest concerns is my nails. What if I break one today at work, I've been so good at protecting them lately! 
Obviously this isn't everyone here otherwise the lockdown wouldn't have happened in the first place. 
This gives me lots of time to think though. I have had years to contemplate my crimes and the reasoning behind them. Address the issues that led me here. So there is no use sitting here mulling over that any longer. It only produces shame and guilt, which leads to anger and self hatred. Neither of which helps me be a productive citizen. 
What I am thinking about is how when I was free I believed that inmates shouldn't have TV, should be locked down for their whole sentence and isolated. Treated like animals, restrict their working out so they couldn't be huge, restrict their diet. It seems that most people think things like that. No education, its not a college dorm after all, its prison. Its suppose to be scary and lonely. That's the punishment. Hopefully you make it out alive, but no one cares if you did because you hurt someone and almost everyone believes you should die alone and afraid. Right? If you make it out alive you were one of the chosen few.
Problem is, that's abuse. Also, its not effective for correction. It produces further mental health problems and intensifies current ones. It creates antisocial behaviors and further isolates an already unstable person. 
Consider children, when they are abused and untreated they have a high risk to perform the same actions as their abusers. Adults are no different. Most people are treatable when they figure out that they need help. Prison is good for that. Isolation leads to self-reflection and that leads to change. Not for all, but for many of us. 
We are not children though and make conscious decisions. So its easier to treat us inhumane. Eye for an eye and all that. What if that was done to you? What if every bad thing you've done is counted and given back to you, but perhaps worse? Not given a chance to change or express remorse. 
I was suppose to have a visit with my mother this Sunday. Instead, I am being punished for the actions of someone I didn't even know. Locked down. I miss my mother and this was the last chance I got to see her before the summers over. 

With Love
Jeff Utnage 823469

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