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I’ve had two strokes in the past year and I’m confined to a wheelchair. – in addition to having PTSD and Cardio Pulmonary Disease. Despite the odds, I struggle every day to make tomorrow better than today.

Incarcerated: 27 years
Housed: Mark Stiles Unit, Beaumont, Texas

Life is a dream which disappears each day I awake in my 6’x9’ steel and concrete cell. In a perfect world, prisoners are incarcerated for the ultimate purpose of receiving adequate and meaningful education and rehabilitation. If these laws were effectively used, the goal of incarceration would succeed. Yet, the Prison Industrial Complex disregards all policy programming and services, as discretionary. The sole discretion placed on the prison admin officials. We are forced to fend for ourselves. To sink or swim with the sharks. The system in place given to the public servants. We are dependent upon them for guidance and rehabilitation. The neglectful focus on sentencing oversight towards education and rehabilitation, mold us into more anti-social and self-reliant people who must trust the system. A system built upon free labor of Texas prisoners – blood, sweat, and tears for the most basic essentials for existence. While enduring brutal treatment, in a volatile and hostile environment. It is extremely hard to buck the system while using the laws and statutes established. We’re told to abide by the law or suffer its consequences. Yet, when we do use the courts to redress our issues we suffer even greater recriminations and oppression. Then they turn their backs and forget the purpose of our incarceration. If we are not given the rights we so desperately need, then, into the mouth of the lion we dive. The lion suffers. It’s hard to chew when I use the system against the system with procedures of wrongs committed upon state citizens. Save the Constitution. Still, I hold true to myself: a stalwart soldier of the Civil Rights Movement. An American patriot of Israeli-Jewish ancestry. An advocate and activist for positive and productive global advancement. Learning to see everyone succeed in life, rather than mere existence. A light sent by society into a place of darkness. Bringing light back into the world by correcting the wrongs.

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