At my institution there is an entire dorm dedicated to housing veterans. While every bed in the unit isn’t filled only with veterans, every bed is made available should they be needed. It’s an excellent idea. The men in the vet program are deserving of our respect, help, consideration, and should be afforded special priviledges when possible while incarcerated here. They’re heroes.
Today’s guest essay touches on the subject of programs and one’s security level. Here in Ohio I am a level 1, the lowest security designation I can possibly achieve. This is also known as “minimum” security. Unlike today’s guest author, it took me 19 years to earn my way here. He on the other hand, started and will finish his lengthy sentence here. Is this fair? What’s the point of minimum if you don’t earn it? Today’s guest author explores these same questions and considers how they both harm and benefit him. I assure you, he is one of the rare New Fish who has his head on straight.
It has been months now and the protests are still ongoing across the country. If anything, the message seems to have been lost, and these gatherings are more and more about anti-law, destruction of property, and rebellion. They’ve even become a political issue.
I remember what it was like in my early years as a first time offender. I remember the first day as if it were yesterday. I remember my first cellmate and the extreme violence of high security. It was difficult.
It was stressful.
In part one of The Lives Of Women In Prison, you read J. Fetty’s essay titled How Is 40 Years Not Enough? She wrote about rehabilitation and how one’s positive actions seem blind to the state parole board. Today you’ll read excerpts from personal letters to this writer by women incarcerated in OR, OH, SD, and MN. I have omitted personal identifying informaton, but have left their words unaltered.