Anthony, 37

Meet Anthony…

In here I really got to know myself. I learned the biggest thing that gets in the way of meeting my goals is myself.

Incarcerated: 2 years
Housed: Fayette, Pennsylvania

In here I really got to know myself. I learned the biggest thing that gets in the way of meeting my goals is myself. You get out of being in prison what you out in. I wanted change so I put my head into reading and learning and not into drama or trouble. The key for me to be able to come home and do good is knowing I have the support, and friendship of the outside world. If I put as much work into being a great man as I have in building my name on the streets and prison, I know in the future the sky’s the limit for me!ed. The most basic hurt inflicted by my death by incarceration is a lifetime of boredom, loneliness, doubt and anxiety punctuated by piercing moments of insight into my feelings as a human being.

 

If the goal of my sentencing judge was to make me suffer for the remaining days of my life, then she succeeded. I wish the goal was for justice not to punish a man for life for an armed robbery of a Pizzeria with a toy gun and $149 to support a drug habit. Will I die un-mourned and a disgrace in the eyes of society?

Ronald, 61

Ronald, 61

Meet Ronald…

“I befriended the old white man with thinning white hair. I became protective of Tennessee, as I got to know him. He had a speech impediment, a raspy voice from a severe beating. It damaged his nervous system, but overall, he’s sharp and quite vain, despite a disfigured face and bumpy nose.”

Housed: LaBelle, Pennsylvania

The old man with a paralyzed right arm held close to his chest, walked with a sliding gait to the chow hall. I wondered what the hell he could have done to be in this HELL HOLE. I watched him slide his right foot after his left, being careful not to trip himself as he made his way down the long tier. I befriended the old white man with thinning white hair. I became protective of Tennessee, as I got to know him. He had a speech impediment, a raspy voice from a severe beating. It damaged his nervous system, but overall, he’s sharp and quite vain, despite a disfigured face and bumpy nose. For some, he’s a freak show to make fun of, but Tennessee is feisty in his old age. He eventually had the good fortune of having the governor commute his sentence to life on parole. He stayed free for 27 years until he was imprisoned for parole violations stemming from visiting the state of Tennessee, to visit his relatives. He had been taking this trip once a year, but this time upon his return, his parole officer informed him he was taking him back to jail. Can you imagine the devastation? So, Tennessee took a swing at his parole officer, despite his limited physical prowess. After all, it was his parole officer who gave him permission to go to Tennessee in the first place. But the PO couldn’t very well tell that to his supervisor, so Tennessee was left for the buzzards. There’s no mercy for this old, beaten down, beaten up, can hardly hear, can hardly walk, partially paralyzed man who poses no threat to anyone and who only wants to die in peace in Tennessee. Tennessee turned 79, October 1, 2005. If I was still at Graterford, I would’ve treated him to a TastyKake and given him a birthday card, to let him know that there still are people who care. My heart goes out to him and all the old people who suffer, hoping, praying for MERCY. Please pray for them. Pray that they all can get to die in peace at their homes, whether they’re in Tennessee, or Timbuktu, and not in one of these cages in one of these HELL HOLES. We’ll all be old one day.