William David Linley
Graham Correctional Center
12078 Illinois Route 185
Hillsboro, Illinois 62049-3620
Just viewed an episode of 60 Minutes that is worth seeing. First the Oprah segment on "Pelican Bay: The Shoe", super max prison. Revelation = it doesn't work!
I realized very quickly in my own prison experience that our (America's) prisons were doing much more harm for our country.
From a military view, our prisons are prime recruiting territory for our current enemy seeking world dominance. When you "throw away" an entire segment of society and destroy hope for the future and cripple their family and children's prospects for a fair chance for the American dream.
Greed is an American curse that continues to consume us since our foundation. But the American spirit is better and stronger than greed. It is greed that drives the prison growth and bloated court system.
Anyway, the 60 Minute episode gives a good argument on the need to rethink how we use prisons, and the importance to restore citizens to be law-abiding, not simply thrown away like trash.
The first segment was about an undercover FBI operation to expose an Al-Queerda (daesh) plot in the U.S. The agent is a true American patriot, American Muslim and American hero. He released a book recently: "American Radical: Inside Al-Queda. Can anyone send me a copy? It goes into the threat we are facing from the poison of daesh and may even help me to see any weeds growing in here. Know your enemy and all that...
On another topic, if you have family or friends in prison, please don't turn your back on them. There are 14-hours a day for a person to occupy time. They will do something or go crazy. The majority of people in prison are "stuck on stupid". If you abandon them, especially the younger guys (18-24), they will feel compelled to gravitate toward the criminal minds. It is a poison too.
"Love covers a multitude of sins..."
You may think it's tough love to ignore a person in prison so they can figure themselves out. Very few seek out positive outlets. Real love, acceptance, and hope gives a person encouragement to "do good" and become a "better person." You do not condone criminal behavior or bad choices! By staying involved, you provide a beacon of hope. A person will do something with 14 hours a day. Your heartfelt letter, even one per month, can inspire a person to read a book, not porn; take a class instead of spending 8 hours gambling on the card table; do some exercise, not hang out on the basketball court with the gangs; go to church, instead of learning new methods to make (cook) crack or meth; or watch a documentary instead of reality shows.
Our veterans group is making good progress. We were permitted to live in the same housing unit. It is proving to be a good thing. We had one field day so far. On a nice, warm, sunny day, 25 men spent the day scrubbing the old cigarette soot off the walls, polishing brass and stripping the concrete floors. AT least five non-vets jumped in to help. It's the first time in 6 years I am able to use the phone while the "day room" (common area) is full of people. No yelling, slamming dominoes, and stupidity, as is common in prison.
Until next time.
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