I have been incarcerated since 2007. I am not a bad person, I am not a violent person. I was protecting myself and my daughter from an abusive man and ended up getting 21 years in prison.

I am the same person I was 15 years ago. Prison has not made me a better person, it has not made me a worse person. Am I ”rehabilitated”? What exactly in me needed rehabilitating?

Based on reading this book and my own awareness I have come to realize that the prison industry is a business. The only ones that benefit from the prison industry are political/commercial entities. Prison labor is cheap labor…a form of slavery under a different name.

It’s unfortunate that people are targeted because of their skin color, wealth, or immigration status.

Society has a ‘lock them up and throw away the key’ mentality when it comes to people who have committed a crime. They do not care about the factors that contributed to it. They do not care about the individual’s background or experiences. From my experience the prison system is not really equipped to deal with numerous issues. Some require thought and skill for resolution. Some individuals belong in an environment where they will get the help they specifically need.

In my opinion prison does not help people who have dealt with substance abuse problems, abusive relationships, mental health problems. 

It is a very oppressive environment and most of the people who are employed do not care about doing their jobs properly…yet many are given the power to dictate the lives of the prisoners they oversee. They punch in, they punch out, they get a paycheck.

The word rehabilitation gives people the sense of reforming their lives and getting another chance to prove themselves to society. When people are hit at their parole boards multiple times, where is their second chance? When people are given 25-life sentences, where is their second chance? How much time must one serve to suffice society’s requirement for imprisonment and rehabilitation?

Society has a need for revenge /punishment when wrongdoing occurs. There are a lot of other alternatives to prison. People can still be held accountable for their actions but in ways that will benefit themselves as well as the community.