The Failure of Truth in Sentencing: How Can I Survive 18 Years of Parole?

7-6-11

I’ve come to terms, that as a prisoner, I’ve lost certain rights/privledges [sic].  Labeled unfit for Society.  I’ve come to terms with much, in the time I’ve been incarcerated.  (Paling in comparison to others I’ve met behind bars.)  Some facts, however, have illuminated themselves, seen more clearly from this, unconventional vantage point.

Let me explain.  As felons, we’re viewed as second class citizens.  A class with-in a class.  (An average citizen raises an eyebrow, “as if I should deserve less?” Not truly understanding, less they’ve been, or know someone locked down.)  Most people behind bars haven’t the money to buy their way through criminal courts.  (Flaunted so expeditiously by Americans 1%, to the point of being comical, it wasn’t so disrespectfull [sic] to the average person.)  Who, but “money”, truely [sic] speaks in America?…

Now, I understand the lack of compassion towards criminals.  I really do.  (Some of us have done terrible things…Unforgivable things!)  And deserve to do time behind bars.  However, compassion is lost on prisoners aswell [sic].  You see, when a person is treated like an animal long enough, there comes a day when there isn’t much left to really differentiate between the two.  Resentment spills over til [sic] it drowns out everything compassionate.  Rage becomes more and more, the norm.

What I believe prisoners truly need, is help.  Not more punishment, longer prison sentences.  How would you help an out of control child?… you would most likely choose to help teach the child a better way.  Using compassion.  Why turn your back on you people, when there could be a chance to help end the violent cycles, that are currently eroding our country inside-out?

I’ll have eighteen years on parole when I’m released.  My mind, it seems, is consumed with “how to walk a tight rope?”  What I mean, is that at any given moment, if my parole officer feels that I have gone outside the rules which have been set in place…I could be violated, and yanked back to prison.  Mere suspicion could warrant my violation.  (Guilty til [sic] proven Innocent, right?)

Now, what sort of system is this?  Where you place time over ones [sic] head, more time then is justifiable (In my case, for an accident), and tell me it’s “Truth in Sentencing?”  What “Truth” is there in giving an eighteen year old kid thirty years for an accident?  What would Donna Sytek [The Architect behind “Truth in Sentencing”] say to this?

The idea of “Truth in Sentencing”, in theory, wasn’t a bad idea.  I do not fault Ms. Sytek in her design.  I fault her in putting her trust in a justice system that has failed the public, time & time again.  Law is not fair.  Law is not compassionate.  Not so long as politicians use “getting tough on crime”, as a platform for their candidacy.

…So what is the answer?  Will politicians one day realize that “getting tough on crime”, only serves to punish, not rehabilitate?…Probably not.

“Sadly, the one undeniable force, which seems to always prevail above all else in this country…American Greed”…

…To be continued.

Ben

New Hampshire State Prison

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One response to “The Failure of Truth in Sentencing: How Can I Survive 18 Years of Parole?

  1. The fact that he will be nearly 50 yrs old before he is finally done with his “punishment” doesn’t seem right in my opinion. I see people everyday in the news who have no guilt or remorse for their actions, half the time intentional rather then accidental, who receive less then half of the sentence that Ben received. It makes me sick to my stomach, honestly. I can’t wait to read the next chapter to his story!

    Like

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