(From tnsocialjustice.wordpress.com) Tennessee is drawing wide attention for its policies on the death penalty. Less well known is how barbaric our sentencing laws are in general. For instance in Tennessee, all penalties for First Degree Murder, even for juveniles sentenced as adults, are equivalent to a death sentence, whether a social death sentence or a physical … Continue reading 51 YEARS: THE NEW LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE →
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” – Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
I am an inmate in the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC). For a long time, I was also a computer programmer. The sad fact is, because I am a prisoner, the State of Tennessee is afraid of me. They have actively impeded my education, and if they recognized the level of skill I actually have, they would ensure that I never touch a computer again and ship me to one of the most violent prisons to languish. I have been threatened with just that.
My pebble was a theft, then a robbery
My hypocrisy started the ripples of victimization
Behavior re-calibration minus criminal rehabilitation
By then, it’s too late
For heaven’s sake
Prep school prepared me to think critically
Apply physics to the streets and chemistry
To drug dealing
Biologically speaking I was bred for prison living
Mired in complacency
How can the VICTIMS be restored when the STATE stands as the witness?
How can PRISONERS show their humanity when numbers replace stories and pictures?
The system stifles spirits, so I scribe my legacy
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In the summer of 2014, men incarcerated in the Tennessee Department of Corrections began a blog. Their posts are as prophetic as they are well-crafted. They are the outcasts that wish to return. They are the prodigal sons.