We put persons in prison, shut them out of society. Our existence expects that we see the evil of character and correct it. Prison was made to face the human tragedy of making bad choices. The lawmakers and policymakers abandoned the original intent of prisons being a redemptive place for all the confused souls.
It has never been the policy nor the history of America to encage humans until they die! The penalty was enjoyed by those who executed it. FOR THE most part the American people believed if a person changed they would be released into the community. Parole at some point was a American custom in practice. If a person conducted themselves in a sane way while in the prison, hope and relief was a reality, American penal system offered a chance for a person to show their true colors.
Suddenly the language, laws, sentencing negatives, statutes, voices of crowd, mob control overwhelmed the daily and evening news. Fear and outright deceptions dominated our communication system.The population became impregnated with revenge, fear, racism, and law and order as the solution to fear.
Most studies reflect that the shift in perception took off around 1970’s and 1980’s, and massive DBI BECAME THE NORMAL. MY JUDGES TOLD me I would be able to have parole in 15 years if I kept my nose clean.
This was in 1977. Again after a new trial I was told the same by another judge. Judges knew the custom and tradition allowed Lifers to have a reasonable chance to return to society a productive person. That is no longer a reality.
Professor Charles Ogletree, in his book, LIVES ON THE LINE FROM CAPITAL PUNISHMENT TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. He wrote Life is the new normal.
Economic responsibility has not caused a shift in the use of taxpayers money. The narrative sold to the society has allowed billions of dollars to be spent on punishment. Our best minds have opted to carry the myth to the highest level of ignorance. The false belief that we need thirty two state prisons, with two prisoners in every cell is false narrative used to shift the attention from the billions used to support corporate welfare. To create a fair system for a parole review for those serving DBI, we will need a community-based system put in place, that represents the complexion of the prison population. Starting in 1988, blacks are eight time more likely to go to prison for each white. Can any of us imagine the destruction of the African American family, and then the community at large?
There are so many lives ruined and banished from a normal existence, prison has become the new projects, and food bank for the poor.
Our American Trauma is like no other in the world. Just dessert is the justification so, do the time. Like, three strikes and you’re out Pennsylvania permits women and men to exist with DBI even if they did not murder anyone. The power to charge and inflict DBI upon the citizens has yet to be offensive to justice. Why does this cruel sentence exist without legal authority changing the cruel system? First, the legislatures are battling to have prisons built in their districts. A building of prisons ensures reelection repeatedly. The truth is the system represents slavery because the state prison population represents young black men and women entering these ritual prisons across the state. While putting two allegedly dangerous people in a cell, we are stacking men and women on top of one another without concerns of their humanity. Redemption has yet to enter the social, scientific, economic policies used to cause DBI to be public policy. Who is the public? Who are these so called public policymakers? Our voices must overwhelm the prosecutors, emotional appeals and damaging images of crime victims. A person has no place at the table when the stakeholders have stacked the deck with citizens who are being paid to represent what we call public safety, because you are never going to get employee’s by the state to champion the humanity of people who have been sentenced to DBI. The interest is diametrically against redemption. The present system has to be restructured to include the people. most affected by the environments that produce crime and violence. Poverty and a inadequate education sets up all the factors for criminal behavior. The absence of resources is the breeding grounds for behavior that allows young adults to err in life. When basic needs are a struggle each day of a persons exist, the desires take over. We should use the human capital and begin paroling women and men serving DBI so we may share the positive knowledge we have learned and help direct the community we come from.
It is time, Pennsylvania abandon the old European theory of torture. Citizens received death sentence for stealing food. A fundamental change in how we treat law breakers, and how we manage human beings is a beginning. Change is hard to accept by rulers. Until we create enough tension, our positive positions may be seen as simple citizens. Every organization must evolve to be relevant.
We must tell those who are making and maintaining this insane DBI policy, it is time to break the punishment spell, and wake up to the national enlightenment that traditional oppression must cease. There is an abusive system in place, that penalizes our errors in the journey of life, but don’t support your good. There is a correlation between health care and criminality. A healthy environment produces positive decisions. Over punishments brings additional stress. Healing, caring, redemption have a greater chance of success, if the policy stakeholders will release their war psychosis. Soon is not soon enough.