I’ve heard guys say that incarceration is a young man’s game. I’ve never liked that saying because it implies that prison is somehow a game. The loss of your freedom, life and liberty could never be a game. Those that look at it that way spend a lifetime returning again and again to prison.
Doing time is hard and there’s constant struggle, but it’s not impossible. Each of us has our own difficulties, and it’s how we choose to view things. There’s wisdom here, and it exists in the words, deeds, and actions of the older crowd. Therefore listen.
Prison To Me
As I turned in my sleep dreaming the outside world was right here with me, but having to wake up is the part that brings reality….Six A.M. The dorm lights come on, voices start to pick up, it’s time for a different day. Welcome to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It’s a place where grownups (men/women) cry, beg and steal. You can follow the rules or suffer the consequences. It all depends on where we take it, near or far. There are many positive things to do, negative too, you name it they got it. Some inmates can do time without hardly any issue, but some will “take your drawers” (figuratively and literally), even the officers do what they please. It can be a lot of no-win situations and some win-win ones too.
Right now I want to speak about the level one facility where I reside. It has some perks but at a ‘cost’ meaning stay in your lane okay. Deviate from it and you’ll face random drug tests, commissary restriction, hole shots, moves (transfers) leveled up to a higher security, loss of visits the list goes on and on.
Here, you can be told to shut up even when you are correct and not out of line, sometimes we win but rarely. Dorm living is something to behold. Four grown men fitted into a squared space partitioned like a walk-in closet, so little space that we take turns getting dressed or aftercare after showering which of course causes tension many times.
Now don’t get me twisted. It’s loneliness, pain, being afraid of being afraid, missing family/friends, regrets, sorrow, wishful thinking, plans and plenty of prayers and hope. Staying focused brings meaning, and it takes us to heights beyond and above. Yes, there are negative things going on but the vision won’t get blurry and days glide by. Even though the incarcerated are looked down upon in society, there are many who strive then never look back. Release brings halfway houses, parole, community control all of this awaits our mishaps. Even the high percentage of returns can’t hinder those who want their freedom to stay intact, always with eyes peeled on “here I am” yours truly.
At 58 years old (6/6/63) I still have goals even though addiction derailed many throughout my life. Yes, I am speaking of myself. I am no better than the next person up, but looking forward to progression in the steps I’ll be taking.
One day at a time that’s all we can do, but remember God
in your life along with that little push that keeps us in the right
direction…Amen…We are who we are.
T. Brozell Sr
The Month Of May
As the month of May rolled in I was hoping and praying for my judicial release. I filed a little while back, but I’m not dependent on it nor am I dwelling on it. It’s not my full focus. I don’t need to get my hopes up only to be let down. However, it does cross my mind once in a while. I have to be honest about that part…
Anyhow, I’ll be moving to another dorm for school, which I think is stupid. It’s only a short walk next door for school. Why not have me just go over everyday instead of all the moving stuff? I’ve been in this dorm for 9 months now and it’s pretty laid back, a cool mixture of young and older inmates, and (Tan Pants) those that work outside the fence or across the other side of the prison. Still, they say I have to move. This is prison, so it’s their way or the highway (which is the ‘hole’), so as of right now I am waiting.
Mother’s Day was around the bend, and I sent out two cards. One to mom and another to baby mom’s. That’s all I could afford to do with my ‘state pay’ of twenty bucks a month, which is a pay cut of ten bucks since I re-classed from the chow hall for school. I continue to be thankful and blessed, please don’t get me wrong. I woke up this morning even though I hate where I live (prison). I’ll always continue to believe that ‘good things come to those who wait’.
I’ve stopped my nail biting, but sometimes nibble a bit, have no tickets (never), no smoking, drugs or drinking just doing me and staying out of the way and in my lane.
Thanks to all everywhere who took the time to read my post, may God continue to bless you all in spite of what’s going on. Amen.
T. Brozell, Sr.
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Lettersfromchristopher is an advocacy effort intended to draw attention to incarceration in the United States.