Dec. 31, 2012

You Will Not Be Condemned

by James Carr


A famous poet once stated, "A nation's character is reflected in how it treats its prisoners", well now, that is most interesting, for how exactly does America treat its prisoners? First, before I give a personal experience view of that question, I want to comment on the erosion of this superpower. Some blame it on liberals, gays, abortion and so forth, yet is that the real problem? Some could say greed, corruption, arrogance, well is it a this and all the other? Well, as a prisoner I believe it is in how you treat us, that determines the condition of a society, this is why. Any people, culture, nation has a premise, and this premise is the constitution of that established state, without a certain principle, the structure will erode, and completely dissipate into either nada, or something different. The problem with America is that its leaders, its statutes contradict its moral edict. This is so by the harshness of its criminal justice system (especially the Department of Corrections). It says to 'control and repress', well what exactly is that concept? Couple this with the consequential ideology of 'punish'. Question is, does repression, and punishment truly rehabilitate? I ask because if you continue to incapacitate someone's will, especially with inhuman measures, then how can you possibly build that person into a new creature? It seems to me that extreme measures can only serve to create a worse creature than the one that first entered into that hallowed institution? Predominantly, the human condition is not capable of conditions set for things paramount to its mortal body, or mind. With our illogical emotions, this is apparent, so how do you devise a system (void of human emotion; esp. love) to correct the so-called criminal, or evil? Isn't it obvious that the purveyors of Justice are not looking in the human mirror, to better assess the crucial problem. If they did, they would apply that well thought Biblical precept, "condemn not, that yet be not condemned". This doesn't pre-empt retribution, trust me, prisons are necessary, yet what you do once you put the convicted person in there, is what will really determine just how safe society will be. Also, consider some people are actually convicted of crimes that they actually did not commit, so much more that the arbiters of penal justice should dispense a more humane system of corrections? One can say that I am only saying this because I am not holding myself responsible for my foul deeds? That is bullshit, I am very much response for my crimes, I do hold regret, and wish I could take back every burglary I've done. The thing is this, if it is wrong to inflict pain, loss, etc. upon a person, then how can you say it is legal, just to inflict even cruel conditions upon the felonious modes within our states? Does an "eye for an eye", really work, or will it simply perpetuate a cycle of brutal crimes, and punishment? So do we continue this course, or do we find a better solution? The hypocrisy is this, most people in our prison systems are either complacent to the cruelty, or directly attributing to it. I have now served 23 yrs, and 6 months of a life without parole term, all of crimes (period) were non violent ones, basically burglaries. I have petitioned the pardons board for 10 yrs. Now asking that my sentence be reduced to a life with parole term, so I can hopefully get a parole soon? I am now 58 yrs. of age, and Lord knows that I get it, and you couldn't pay me enough to ever do another crime! So basically I'm being warehoused, am I not? The prison administrators will claim that it's my disciplinary history that is keeping me from getting a pardon, well how interesting, I do get write ups, for being defiant, in particular when I refuse to live with certain inmates, also officers' construance of something I said as a threat? The truth is nothing I do is reflective of being a criminal still, it is human nature to be defensive, yet Nevada's prison policies impede us from being human. This is clearly psychological condemnation, it robs you of all free will to be forced to live with someone you just can't trust, or like at all. The Dept. of Corrections will say that it is only natural that prisoners have no say in how, or who they are housed with, and this is the dumping of coals upon that psychological condemnation, is it not? So now inmates such as myself live in isolation, and you sit in a cell 6' by 14' virtually 24 hrs. a day. I have spent over 3 1/2 years in isolation, and it is like you're dead (at times). Truth is this, America is reportedly 68% Christian? Well now, I wonder if the founder of Christianity would treat us like this? Would Jesus give up on anyone, did he ever really condemn anyone? The truth is this, no matter one's belief, it is narrow vision, or [illegible] to condemn, for it says that a part of what we are is irreparable, does it not? Some will say that they are different, and one human being's flaw can not reach them, well isn't that the kind of spirit that allowed the Holocaust to reign for six years? Certainly a solution to crime is needed, and it spans much farther than prisons, it is something that the erudites of humanity have yet to resolve? Perhaps it is innate, that our natures are partially dark, that we all harbor a notion to strike out? I would like to think that there is a solution, and that we are born innocent, that factors in all societies lead some to what is deemed criminal or aberrant behavior? Trust me though, to use aberrant means of legal torture to correct is an egregious error, and it will only escalate, I know because I have lived the problem for a total of 36 yrs., and it isn't improving. Locking up people for long periods of time doesn't work, only to increase taxes and crimes. As it says, "if you condemn, do you not really kill yourself?" It is something to ponder, is it not? Peace!

[picture of an unidentified woman]


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