Recently I was at another institution where I did lots and lots of work. Too much in fact. The work was wrapped around changing the violent prison culture to one that fosters growth and productivity within oneself. Unfortunately, that is hard to do when you have violence as king. The king has to be dethroned.

I just happened to be in an environment where that was happening. People were letting down their defenses and letting others in. Getting along, doing the right thing, building bridges that were long burnt. The problem is, when you are effective, people take notice.

I know now what leaders who are working for civil rights, Harvey Milk, MLK Jr. etc go and went through. The dangers of challenging hatred and bigotry head on is no light task. Nor should anyone take it lightly. Its difficult and sometimes it gets ugly.

That is what happened with me. I am just a little fag who writes a lot and teaches classes, that’s my words…But those who were having a hard time using fear and manipulation took notice that I was weak and exploited that fact. To send a message to anyone else who decides to try and make positive prison culture changes. They cornered me in a bathroom, three of them and well…I do not want to talk about the rest.

But this thought goes through my head, if I just quit fighting for positive change, they win. The assualt was effective and worth it to them because it stopped. 

I am torn, because that type of situation scares me. I have nightmares as a result, I see their faces and cannot sleep. 

This is a road that is not easy.

With Love
Jeff Utnage