Friday, November 29, 2013
Marteze Harris #161543
New Lisbon Correctional Institution
Post Office Box 4000
New Lisbon, Wisconsin 53950
It has been several moths since my last blog post, and it's been a whirlwind affair. Or so it seems. It has been full of highs and lows, bad to almost unbearable, good to amazingly (wonderfully) good. How is that possible? Probably only in a prison setting. Prison is like being transported to another dimension. If you have never been incarcerated, then even if I could explain or define what prison really is, you still wouldn't understand. However, I shall catch you up on what I've been doing these past few months.
I was transferred from a maximum secure prison to a medium secure prison. Which is a very good move. In order to be even considered for parole, you must transition down in the WDOC (Wisconsin Department of Corrections). So if you go from Max to Med to Min secure prisons. I was not feeling this place, the new prison, when I first transferred here in June of this year. Now a few months later, it is not so unbearable anymore. Besides, again, in order to be considered for parole, this was a necessary move.
Since I've been here, I finished my paralegal course with a 98% average, and hpoefully I will be taking my advanced paralegal course soon. I really needed some time off! I just finished my restorative justice program which was very draining, heartbreaking, and painful, but it was also very enlightening, transformational, uplifting, and life-changing. Restorative Justice is a program that forces us (prisoners) to see how our crimes not only affects us, our families, and the criminal justice system; but the victims, our communities, and society as a whole. As prisoners we don't understand or see the rippling effects that our crimes play in every aspect of societal statistics and behavior. Restorative Justice also begins you face-to-face with actual victims who are either actual victims or someone that they loved was a victim.
But I will tell you that once you meet these amazing women, these survivors, you no longer see them as victims, as being weak and scared. These beautiful women stand strong in the face of adversity, and they win every day.
"I have always believed, and I still believe that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way. We can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value."
These women have transformed the bad into something of value. These women could only see that I am determined to leave prison, a better person that when I entered—with hope, determination, compassion, and integrity.
I will each day of my incarceration with love, joy, and creative growth.
I will not allow my faith, inner-strength, gentle spirit, or loving generosity to be damaged by this or any other hostile environment.
I am not a prisoner but temporarily contained, worthwhile human being waiting for my release with lots to offer the world.
When I read that it, it just hit me! This is me, and this is my personal affirmation to myself. I've said this many times to myself about myself, just not as eloquently. So kudos to Mr. Jerry Gilles.
Until next time. My God bless and keep you all safe and healthy during this holiday season. And please have a blessed Christmas and a very happy and productive New Year's.
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