Inmates Deserve Better:
I would call DOC a failing system. Let me make my point clear. We made a grave mistake. One that should have been avoided and not done in the first place. We are people that committed crimes and that was wrong. There is no way to cut it that makes it ok for us to commit crimes. Period!
Now, here is the problem, what led us to do crimes is the problem that needs to be addressed. The first penitentiary was created so that people who sinned (or committed a crime) can go to a quiet, isolated place to become penitent with God. Thus the term Penitentiary. I believe in God, but I also believe that God gave us brains to understand science and reality. Going and talking with God is never a bad idea, but blaming Him and expecting Him to fix something that is in my control is idiotic.
No, what needs to be addressed and where the system is broken is in psychological care. For many of us, not all, but many of us we want help. For whatever led us here. Drugs, assaults, sexual deviance’s…whatever…money…doesn’t matter what is was. I believe that anyone who wants it can be rehabilitated. So long as they are willing to put in the work and understand what’s up.
Yes, there are men who need to be locked up because they are gone. But there are plenty of men who are locked up away with them that are actively learning those tendencies because they need to survive. You can separate yourself from that with effort, but it can be very dangerous in many cases. The violent react violently. That’s that.
The system needs help. It needs it’s own doctor and physician. When we want help, it should be available. Teach us a trade, give us counseling that is focused and accessible. When we refuse to change, then give up on us. When we don’t want to fix what led us here, which admittedly, there are many who plan on getting out and doing drugs again. But there are many who want to change and don’t have any idea how to do that. Parents and communities didn’t teach them those skills. They followed a violent Uncle, or Brother or Father or influential Neighbor. Or just a childhood mentality. There are many reasons.
anyway, I hope that people get involved and ask questions. Why are these men being thrown away when we are not garbage. We are your fathers and sons and brothers and neighbors and we want help. I personally wont accept my past life as a viable future. Meaning I refuse to leave this place the same man I came in. I have changed and I won’t allow any other thought to enter in that tells me different. I will never forget my past, but I certainly won’t allow it to define me. What does define me is my future. Believe that!
Jeff Utnage 823469
I want to hear your thougt’s and views. The whole point of this website is to engage people into conversation about prison. I am openly gay and that has an impact on how I view prison and what it means for me. For instance, it’s illegal for me to engage in homosexual activity. Like holding hands…is that right? What do you think?