Their Writings

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MINORITY OPPRESSION:

ECONOMICS, RACE AND INCARCERATION

BY DANA GRAY

LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY : A LIVED EXPERIENCE

By MICHAEL ZAHARIBU DORROUGH

 

Please forgive me for any inconvenience that my writing may cause. I am writing in the hope that I might contribute to changing the way that people think about the laws with regards to the draconian life without possible parole sentences, as well as other extreme sentencing.

SENTENCING AND PRISON REFORM

by MIKE WILLIAMS

 

Lengthy sentences do not deter crime and neither do short sentences. What, then, can provide both fair sentencing, AND ensure public safety? If you will allow me to, I believe I can help answer this question from an informed perspective that you may not have considered before.

I am a long-time prisoner. I have been incarcerated within the California State Prison System now for going on 30 years. The first couple of those years were spent in the Los Angeles County Jail. The next 18 years were spent on level IV mainline prison yards, before quitting the mainline, with all of its inmate politics and violence, by entering into the so-called “Sensitive Needs” program. And through my positive programming and rehabilitative efforts, I have worked my way down to a level II facility (even with a Life w/o the Possibility of Parole sentence). So I have amassed quite a bit of experience in what works and what doesn’t within the system.

Unworthy Me

Norman Williams

AKA Bariki

My American dreams

My highest aspiration

I find empty, hollow - shallow

Droplet of the American dreams.

Droplet of the American dreams

Inside the American theme

RESPONSE TO REPARATIONS HEARING OF MID-FEBRUARY 2021

BY INCARCERATED PERSON

Thank you for acknowledging this letter. As an incarcerated person of a continuous three decades, and from an intersectionality of marginalized groups, I wanted to offer a unique lens from which I view the topic of reparations.

 

I will begin by responding to people such as Mitch McConnell, who believes slavery is "something that happened 150 years ago," and has nothing to with today. Please consider the following counter perspective:

 

Instead of Incarceration

BY PHILLIP SUTTON

The mighty United States of America, in its human rights righteousness, wags its shaming finger
at the rest of the world while hiding the fact that it is home to only 5% of the world’s population but a
staggering 25% of its prisoners. We have by far the most punitive laws and equally harsh criminal justice
system in the world, yet violent crime is again spiraling out of control. Our response? We react with fear
and hatred while forgetting the failures of our past. Like a blood-thirsty mob out for revenge, we demand
to go back into the tough-on-crime era and try to incarcerate our way out of our problems.

 

“I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive—nor will we deserve to.”
― Leonard Peltier, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance