Posts Tagged ‘parole hearing’

The answer to that question is simple. There is no way that a discretionary panel, or entity, should have more influence and power than the sentencing court or the Judge. In most cases the judge hands down the sentence based on the elements of the crime committed. Whether that sentence is harsh or lenient, the Judge has that discretion. Once the Judge hands down the sentence it is the Department of Justice to oversee that sentence. It is not the job of that department to hand out more time for the same sentence. This has been the function of the parole board for many years. It is time that this practice and reversed. The duty of the parole board is to enforce penalties when there have been other criminal acts committed during the course of incarceration, or penalize the convicted if they fail to adhere to the rules and regulations of the prison and refuse to participate in rehabilitative programs. The USPC is setting guys off for offenses they were sentenced for in court. The DC 1987 regulations is an incentive based parole guideline. It is meant to give guys a push to program and eventually change their behaviors. It is not to be used as another means of punishment.

This has been the problem with DC inmates since the federal government take over. When they closed Lorton guys were shipped all across the country without regards to the distance between love ones. They were housed in super-max prisons where they were overseen by guards with loaded guns. Guns they used to shot guys if they crossed certain colored lines. All the while these inmates were, if still held in Lorton, medium and minimum security prisoners. The USPC has set many guys off for as long as 15 years, in increments. If the actual DC system was still in place these things would not be happening. If the public begin to question and hold accountable those elected officials things would have to change. More people need to get more involved in these affairs. There has to be a community effort for change to take place. It is time that we get our love ones, that have worked hard for their release for many years, home. The time is now!

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Free Prisoner

It has been a while since I have written anything and I just want to share the reasons why. It has been a long time coming now and I am now about to go back up for parole, next week hopefully. I have been asked many times about how do I feel about being this close to home, if I make parole. It is hard to really say what I am feeling right now. I can describe how it was the first time that I went before the board.

When I went up the last time I was told that I was parole eligible and asked if I had an address to use in the event that I make parole. I was left speechless and it took me a minute to think of the address that I would use. Well, I didn’t make parole and was given another three years to do, what I am finishing up on now.

It was a surreal feeling when I was told that I would be recommended parole just as it was a surreal feeling when I was denied and told to do three more years. Now, I know that you may be thinking, “what is three more years after you have done so much time now?” Well, it is not the time, amount of time, it is the mindset that one has to go through in order to do the time.

I believe that there is a lot of institutional behaviors, thoughts and habits that one must shed before going home. Behaviors, thoughts and habits that are needed to survive within prison.

What roles am I talking about? Well, there are many roles that one has to play and I will try to give you some examples. One thing that seems to be noticeable is how possessive guys can be. Not only are they possessive they will take your life for some of these possessions. Things such as small as a spot on the floor. There are five TV’ s on the unit and the units are open so that means that it is like being in a crowded room all the time. They give us plastic chairs and guys come out in the morning and put there chairs in what is “their” spots on the floor. To move a guys chair is disrespectful and one will get hurt for this type of disrespect.

To move a guys shower stuff that is hanging on the shower door is a act of disrespect and one will get hurt about that. Another thing is that one often has to go to the showers in tennis shoes or boots, in the event that something breaks out. One has to be ready at all times for what ever may happen. Or what about not being able to take a nap during the day while the cell doors are unlocked. Or having to defecate with one leg out of ones pants. To get caught using that bathroom with both legs in your pants can cost you your life. It is hard to defend yourself when you are sitting on the toilet so you have to make sure that your legs don’t get tied up in your pants.

There are many roles that one has to take on in order to survive in here so to be told that I may be going home I felt that I needed to shed those roles and step into the role of being a law abiding citizen. A person who don’t get crazy stares for walking around in slippers. A person who don’t have to walk by a dying person and act as if nothing is going on. I think that has to have been one of the hardest things to adapt to. To see a guy getting stabbed to death and to have to walk away while hearing the screams and pleas of a dying man. To wake up everyday and to see the bloodstains from the events that have taken place over the years. It use to be hard to sleep at night when I was in Lorton. Lorton was open dormitory and there was always action going on. When the dorm lights went out the predators came out.

Well those are the skill that I didn’t want to take back to the free world with me so when I went to see the parole board the first time I thought that I was done with having to deal with all of the stuff that one has to deal with in prison. When I was denied parole I was stuck in between two worlds and it was hard to readjust to having to do three more years. That was the hardest part of that process. It was like day one all over again.

So this time around I think that I am hopefully but that is about it. I mean I would love to make parole and come home but the reality is that until I am actually released I have to stay focused on doing time. This is a tragedy for those guys that can’t get out of these roles, easily. They take the prison mentality home with them and the prison mentality is criminal therefore it is easy to result back to crime. That is the state that many find themselves in when they can’t switch roles.

I think that I will be alright as long as I can tell the difference and keep in my head that it is just a phase and that one day it will pass.