Feb. 6, 2015

A New Year's Murder

From Prison Dad by Robert Pezzeca (author's profile)


A New Year's Murder
Jan. 12, 2015: 7:00 a.m.: Watching the Local Morning News

Good morning. I'm a little lost today. Being in this new prison has changed the way I was used to living my daily life in here but I still continue to get up & watch the news every morning & I am still shocked at the senseless killings. In Bedford County, PA, a 15 & 16 year old boys decided to kill someone. They planned to murder someone to get money to buy weed. So they planned it, then went & shot & killed a young woman. The very next news story was a 67 year old woman fell in her snow covered driveway. She couldn't get up, she froze to death & died. These were 2 senseless deaths, 2 lives that did not have to end. In a statement made to the cops, the teenage boys said that they also wanted to know what it was like to shoot someone. As bad as I once was, that's not a feeling I ever had a desire to know. My grandmom, before she died in 2006, she was home alone & she fell. She got hurt pretty badly from the fall & laid there for hours until my cousin came to visit her. If she would have had the life alert button, she would have been able to get medical help. I only think of this because my mom had the life alert button & I wish we still had the money to pay for that. That 67 year old woman wouldn't have frozen to death in her driveway. Medicaid, Medicare, one of these should be forced to pay for a system like life alert for seniors who cannot afford it on their own.

We send our military all over the world to help people, for missions, for war, so many reasons but according to CNN, a huge number of military vets commit suicide every year. I don't remember the number but it was in the thousands. Thousands of men & women, who just happened to serve in the military, end their own lives every year. Something's definitely wrong.

But even though they are sent to wars, what about sending them to end Boko Haram in Africa? Specifically Nigeria. Why hasn't Obama sent them to Nigeria to end this terrorist regime? The soldiers of Boko Haram murdered 2,000 men, women & children in Nigeria for 5 years now. This is the same group that kidnapped 200 elementary aged school girls & they have never been found. You can imagine the horrors & tortures that these poor kids are living. They were most likely sold into slavery &/or child prostitution. If I could speak to Obama right now, I would ask him if he plans on having our military do anything about Boko Haram. We all know how politicians are, maybe there are no natural resources there that we need.

My final complaint for the day is the cost of a phone call overseas. I will not be calling Italy now as I had wanted to call Lisa on her birthday. The phone company raised the cost of an international call from 45 cents per minute to $1.50 per minute. That would be $22.50 for a 15 minute phone call. This is just another way that they continue to rip us off in here. I would have to work for 119 hours in order to be able to make that phone call. Ridiculous. I still don't understand why Pennsylvania does not have legislation in place preventing the phone co. (Global Tel Link & Securus) & the dept. of corrections, from ripping us & our families off. 8 states do so far, we need the rest.

There is a new prison that's supposed to be opening up later this year, SCI Phoenix, it'll be next to SCI Graterford, I think I'll ask if I can get sent there. In the meantime, I have spoken to the prisons chaplains & I want to start a holy name society organization here, if the prison will allow it & if the HNS will allow us another prison charter. I also need to round up volunteers from the outside so that we can begin our own annual cursillo retreat weekend here. This prison doesn't have much to do so I think those would be beneficial to a lot of prisoners. 90 % of the men at this prison will return to society one day & these are the ones you must focus on first. I won't give up the fight. The dept. of corrections (that name is a joke) their focus is on warehousing, not rehabilitation, not helping. Do you know how many people are rotting in here because they have nowhere to live? I know a guy who was paroled 3 years ago. But he lives out of state. He has an armed robbery charge. He did 15 years off of a 10-20 year sentence for robbing a store with a gun. He has to max out because he has nowhere to live in this state. Stuff like this makes no sense to me. This is the dept. of prisons/slaves.

I apologize, I have 1 final complaint for today. The dept. of prisons/slavery now makes tv's. They buy the RCA parts & have an inmate assembly line. They make you buy this TV, they will not allow you to buy from anyone else. You are forced to buy a 19" flat screen LED RCA TV, assembled by now trained prisoners (you learn on the job). A 19" TV, they charge over $260. TVs are essential in here, they are essential to keep your sanity, keep you from losing your mind. Let's remember the old phrase (I hope I say it right) "Idle hands are the devil's tools." In here, when you are locked down in your cell 20+ hours a day, with nothing to do, that's when you get in trouble. You have no way to educate yourself, no way to entertain yourself, prisoners tend to get more violent, get into more trouble. It's the same out in the world with a child, if you don't have something for a kid to do, he/she will get into some type of trouble. It's just the way of the world.

Well I want to thank everyone who took the time to read what I write. Not very interesting so if you have any ideas, questions, comments, I'm all ears. It gets harder to write without feedback. Take care, stay out of the cold (it's freezing here ) & God bless. Happy new year, ciao.

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Replies (4) Replies feed

Nicki Posted 9 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Thank you for writing Robert. You're right about so many things in this post, but the one thing you're wrong about is that your thoughts & concerns aren't interesting. They are & I can tell you they are the same concerns all people with a social conscience share. There is so much wrong with the world & we look to our leaders to address important issues. When all is said and done though, they are busy playing the game of politics & not representing the interests of the people.

Take care

KCee Posted 9 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post.


The prices you list for those TVs are unconscionable. I have a 32-inch LED flatscreen in my bedroom that I bought brand new for $198!! It's funny, in an ironic kind of way, the specific details that really catch my attention. That was one of them. A television... how petty. But holy cow, how much are you and your loved ones expected to pay for your transgressions? I don't at all feel that life in prison should be a cake walk, but for heaven's sake, maybe we could at least pretend to be civilized and stop punishing the FAMILIES and loved ones of criminals for crimes—after all, you're never going to earn a TV at the 8 cents an hour or whatever it is they pay you for your honest labor. Someone who loves you has to buy it for you... at twice the price it would cost at Wal-Mart. Where does that money go? The inmates who make the TV get pennies (in Texas, where I live, they don't get paid at all, not even cents on the dollar); we have a rough idea of what the parts cost... is that money at least going into a victim fund? Or is it just being absorbed by the State?


Again, it's funny how the little things jump out at us. I can't believe how angry this made me. I feel as though "justice" in this country is never done until criminals are dead and their families are destroyed. How does this help anyone?!

Oh man, I'm so mad. Sorry. I'm going to pull it in now. I hope you're doing well!


P.S.: I agree with Nicki: the things you say are extremely interesting! Please keep writing. I hope our feedback helps keep you motivated to do so.

Unfortunately, many inmates across the country are mentally or physically ill, intellectually disabled, or otherwise unable to really share their honest thoughts about their experience. Because you are a sane, smart man, I implore you to please keep writing about everything you see, hear, and feel. I know stupid things like TVs are, well, stupid, but those things are part of a greater whole that is causing exceptional damage to the fabric of our entire society. Please keep writing!

Maggie Posted 9 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
I can understand the overage cost associated with both the phone calls and the televisions. The calls would need to be monitored to make sure no shenanigans are taking place, the televisions probably need to be sealed to keep the inmates from pulling out bits to use as weapons.

I am surprised to read that they are allowed in cells however. I have always had a picture in my mind of inmates basically being put into a common room for television privileges. A flat screen tv, three meals a day and a roof over your head sounds like a good deal for a life sentence, no?

There does need to be more correctional effort and less warehousing on the part of inmates that will be allowed back into society. I think it is an egregious error on the part of the state (any state) to not work more towards rehabilitation, or the effort of some kind of trade. With the U.S. manufacturing base being what it is though, trades are unfortunately not always a viable option.

As far as international aid, regarding Nigeria and the like... It seems like the world just allows that to fester, and I have never understood why. It is not the place of the USA to keep everything running smoothly (heck, taxes barely are able to keep the prisons functional from all the inputs of prisoners on this board), and I have always wondered why a more international effort is not made to contain the insanity that goes on there.

Robert Pezzeca Posted 9 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
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