This is an article from a previous blog entry I wrote several weeks ago on another website. I’ve edited portions to make it sound better, but the point is clear.
I learned a few days ago that I probably will never see my father again, with his health declining and his current incarceration status.
My natural father has been in prison now since about 1993 on many charges. He’s been in court over this since then, because of erroneous methods they used to convict him. I’m not totally aware of all the details, but they violated his rights during the conviction process, and he’s been appealing this in court and spending massive amounts of money for defense.
They dropped one of the major charges in his case, and reduced his sentence a small amount. Yet, he still remains behind bars waiting word on an appeal that could set him free. I think now that it was most likely declined without his knowledge.
A couple of days ago I received a letter from him that originated from the Everglades Correctional Facility, which means he was transferred about 120 miles South. He said they packed several people in shackles on a bus, and it took almost 8 days for them to transfer him to his new location from Lowell.
The methodology of prison systems today is completely not according to the methodology they have you believe. People don’t go to prison and learn to be productive citizens. The correctional aspect flies right out the window, if there even is one. You can find research that proves high return rates for ex-prisoners, in virtually every establishment, and on a nationwide consensus level.
My father earned a biblical doctorate in prison, and recently asked me to send him his picture from the Florida Inmate Database on the Internet, because he’s being ordained as a minister and needs a picture for whatever form of identification they give to you when that happens.
The picture of him they have posted is horrible. They dragged him out of his cell and photographed him during a sickness, probably to increase the dramatic look on his face and make him look psychotic or menacing. I have other pictures, and will be sending those instead. A minister needs a good picture.
He told me this new facility is like Hell compared to being in a Detroit prison or jail, which is not a very pleasant thought. Apparently they’re cohabiting him with psychotic people and a large population of transvestites.
A situation like this for extended periods obviously promotes social seclusion and perhaps even homosexual activity. If you’re in prison for twenty years, and would rather die, you’ll find some pretty crazy things to make your world seem less full of despair. Unless you find some way of killing yourself.
He doesn’t deserve to be grouped with these types of people, and he surely doesn’t deserve having his art supplies taken from his cell, his job at the prison chapel taken away, and most of his life wasted away waiting for the justice system to catch up.
There’s no possible way you could consider these sorts of living conditions a contribution to correcting someone’s life. Statistical analysis simply proves this beyond a doubt. Prisons are ineffective magnets that turn normal desperate individuals into desperate criminals.
I’m not talking about rapists and murderers either, they’ve made their own Hell. Whatever happens to them is their punishment and totally justifiable, even if it does mean life in prison, or being raped in prison by undersexed hormonal convicts. But with all of these non-violent offenders, most of the “correctional procedures” are not helping our society.