Thursday, July 9, 2015

timothy morgan



Timothy Morgan 275295 GBCI
In 1993 at the age of 16 I was charged and waived into adult court, and in 1994 I was sentenced at the age of 17 to life without the possibility of parole until the year 2019, which is now only 5 years away. Throughout my incarceration I have completed my HSED, Anger Management, CGIP 1&2, Challenges and Possibilities, Business Math and Communications Voc Ed., and currently sit on a waiting list for the Barber/Cosmetology Program held here at Green Bay in hopes of attaining a license in that field. I have been employed for almost all of my incarceration, with the exception of being in segregation on two different occasions. My conduct history has been stellar outside of these two major conduct reports. I spend my time in religious studies, legal research, maintaining my health with good exercise, painting and anything that will contribute to having a positive learning experience and human experience that I can share with others regardless of the limitations of restrictions surrounding being incarcerated. I also just started writing blog posts that can be viewed at (www.timmymorgan.blogspot.com).

      Many of us incarcerated have beautiful families, yet lack the luxury of expression through the social vehicles that they readily have access to, and that continues to shadow the bright minds that await the exposure to the world. It's not the families fault for not truly understanding the complexity of these conditions while thinking that support only comes in our visits, letters, phone calls, and money for canteen... when in reality it's much greater than that. It is said that love is the highest elevation of understanding and so strong it's unbreakable... this is what I want my life to exude upon everyone I can possibly meet in this world and not just for me, but for the ideal that hopefulness has thrived in the hearts of many forgotten adolescents who are now priceless adults like myself who’s ready to not only make some differences, but become whose differences by God’s permission.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tyrone Munson tells his story

Tyrone Munson #356816


W.C.I
P.O. Box 351
Waupun, WI 53963

Dear Reader,

My name is Tyrone Munson, and I am currently serving my first adult prison sentence of 290 years. I have only a juvenile record of disorderly conduct. I am now incarcerated for Sexual assault, kidnapping, and robbery.

After 15 years I have finally gathered the courage to put down on paper my raw thoughts and emotions. If you are moved in any direction please feel free to respond in honesty. I would like for you to be open as possible. In advance I would like to thank you.

also see: Tyrone Munson blog post one
Tyrone Munson blog post two

_______________
Dear Reader,

At this point in time of my life, out of sheer apathy I lacked the mental and emotional capacity to fully grasp the magnitude of just how much damage I've caused. The heartless boy described by my victims, Ms. Kate Bungi, Ms. Ruby Silvestrini, and Ms. Concette Clemente. Along with others (men not included) to paint a graphic picture of my terrorizing "only" women. When unfortunately my wrath was directed toward everyone outside of me, including my family.

I will not down play, minimize, or make any excuses for my actions. I accept the fullness of responsibility, and because of this I have become a greater man. Please bare with me as I unmask the events that lead up to this point in my life. I recall Ms. Clemente stating in the court room that I still would not admit that I committed these vicious acts against them. She was right, I could not admit it. It was also something else, I couldn't believe it either. The details were brutal, that at my hands these girls had to endure what possibly has been the worst day of their lives. I sexually assaulted, robbed, and kidnapped them.. How could I admit to myself let alone society that I stabbed a woman, beat another one? What person had I become to brutally beat a man, and fight others, all for the fun of it?

No one should ever have to endure the pain I inflicted on these human beings. No one should ever have to live in the terror I caused so many. I now see, in many ways I did commit murder. I killed their innocence, I took away their identity. I robbed them of their security, I humiliated them degraded them, disrespected them, without any remorse. In my conscious mind I now think to myself: What if this happened to my Mother? Or my Niece? Or my Daughter? How would I feel if someone did this to me? I would loath the very sight of them, I would feel less than a man. I would have a hard time trusting people. I would be very apprehensive, and cautious. I would hate them , I would cry and in deep confusion question God. In my response to this I would want whoever did this to me or my family to burn in hell. I to would want them to die in prison. It is my fault that they are struggling to cope. I have to live with what I've done. The manifestation of my actions no doubt has left a grave impact on not only my victims. But my family, and the community as a whole. I am now aware of the ripple effects that I've caused.

This startling revelation has challenged me in every facet of my life. Stripped, as I lay bare the emotions once covered up by the abuse I had to endure. Brought upon the callousness necessary to carry out these ungodly acts.

In the past I blamed drugs and alcohol. These however were not the primary culprits in my demise. Although it lowered my inhibitions, it also enhanced the already negative self-image I entertained. Drugs and alcohol set blaze the inferno I had burning on the inside of me. I was filled with rage from the constant blows of my self-esteem. I did not just wake up with this self destructive attitude. I did however have to face what I thought was facts. God did not make a man to act in the lowest form of human existence. But it happened,it happens even more than ever. So I questioned myself, why did these girls (at the time) have to suffer from my mental and emotional anguish? Then the revelation became clear to me, everybody suffered because I didn't know how to love myself. They suffered because I suffered, I affected society because I was infected. I didn't care about myself, so there was no way that I could care about anyone outside of me.

I remember wanting to die when I was 5 or 6 years old. Normal kids are having fun at this age. But I wanted to die, I was hiding in the closet of our upstairs room. Overcome with fear from my mother and my Brother's father fighting I wished that night that I could die. Little did I know a part of me did die. Little did I know this would jump start the anger I felt towards men. I love my Mother dearly, and although she tried desperately to instill morals and values in me. Her actions spoke louder than her words. She also tried to convey love that was taught to her, but this love would prove faulty in trying to raise 4 boys.

Don't get me wrong we had good times but the good times would soon be over-shadowed by the trauma of my Mother's drug use. I remember getting hit and was told to stop crying before I give you something to cry about. This in turn would stifle my emotions. This along with having to fend for myself in the ghetto pumped my undeveloped mind with venom. At any time in my childhood if I had the mental strength to deal with my emotions the course of my life would be drastically different. Do I blame my Mother? NO! I blame the vicious cycle perpetuated by the lies that plagued my community. Violence was the norm not only in my household but in the infested streets. It would be next to impossible to escape the malady surrounding me. The residue of my poor self-image began to saturate my feeble mind. The nightmares would become a reality. The voices of kids my age in my class telling me that I was an ugly missing tooth, black boy ripped my self confi¬dence into pieces. My three brothers (who all had the same father) would also validate my poor self-image.

I felt rejected, I felt alone, yet I stuffed it. All the mental and emotional abuse I stuffed it. Family members not wanting to take in my brother and I stuffed it. When my Mother would get into fights and I would call the police and they would not come, or they would come too late, I learned not to trust them. Getting bullied in school, I stuffed it. I stuffed the affects of my father dying, moving from place to place. Living in shelters, being judged by society’s standards of what is good enough, I stuffed it. I took every single blow, punch after punch, after punch. The last punch would no doubt make me fight back. When I obtain knowledge of my Mother's drug use. The only person who helplessly tried to keep it together couldn't any longer. Drugs took the one person I loved in my life away from me. I lost it, I lost every sense of control I had. I went from being at the top of my class to dropping out of school. How can you expect for me to be a child when circumstance forces me to grow up quick. All bets were off, the one thread (My Mother) trying to hold everything together snapped, so I snapped! At the age of 11, (although this was not my first time drinking alcohol) I consumed large amounts. Now I am no expert but the quantities of alcohol I was consuming surely outweighed the tolerance of an 11 year old. I gave into the darkness, playing rushing roulette with my already withering life. The overwhelming affects of drugs and alcohol begin to break down the defenses of my morale. I would have unprotected sex with countless women. I would have fights with three or four men at the same time. I would jump out of full speed moving cars. I even had one of my friends Mother come from the bar one night I was asleep, but this did not stop her from trying to unzip my pants. I told her to stop but she didn't, she told me to be quiet. My body would deceive me; I too was intoxicated and tried again to move her. She was much bigger than I was so it wasn't that easy. Because my body had deceived me I gave in. She was 33, and I was 16 years old.

I felt empty inside, the only thing I held on to was the anger and rage I had on the inside of me. Soon the powerful force of self-hatred would give birth to this vicious person displayed in my actions. I wanted out, I didn't want to feel the way I was feeling. I wanted help because I was tired, I was weak, powerless to overcome my demons. In the days of me robbing one woman, raping and brutally beating another, I released every¬thing. Everything I internalized, everything I held inside, from the age I felt betrayed up until it came all out. As tragic as it is, as vicious as it is, these girls were not suppose to be the target. No one was. How do you live with yourself? Sticking bottles in a woman's vagina, hitting her all while laughing. You would have to be sick individual to constantly beat her to the point of her saying "just kill me!" A juvenile would have to be far gone to express these types of behaviors. A person is not in their right mind to go throw with this. I shiver at the very thought of it. Once you become conscious there is no escaping this you don't just get over this. Because I have to face my Mother, I have to face my Daughter and the female friends I have. I have to face myself, I have to live with it.. and it hurts. I wish that I could take it back; I wish that I was strong enough to deal with my issues. I donut want them to hurt, I hate that I am the cause of someone else affliction. For as long as I live this will never sit right with me. I will never feel comfortable knowing that because of me people are suffering.

It has been my sincerest prayer that God help those who I have hurt. So that they don't be infected with the negative energy I generated. I pray that they don't become the hatred I gave to them, the anger I had, the low self-esteem. I plead with God that He restore the beauty I took from them. I struggle with the thought of ever getting out of prison. Do I deserve to get out for what I have done? And the answer is no, I don't deserve to get out of prison. This would be my thoughts hadn't I not taken the necessary steps that I have in becoming a better human being. If I still had a selfish disposition and a total disregard for human life. I wouldn't deserve to get out of prison, yet it still isn't that simple. Because there is an entertaining thought of, if I was to get out of prison what type of person would I be in society? The truth of the matter is that I wouldn't know until I get that opportunity. All I know is the man I am today, being in prison didn't make me bitter it actually made me better. It has given me a chance to confront myself. Iwas able to get the prison out by repetition. Challenging old thoughts and behaviors and replacing them with new ones. A constant theme plays on in my head. "Hurt people," "Hurt People!" Any pain not transformed is transferred The Bible teaches that Godly sorrow produces repentance (turning away) leading to salvation (freedom).

I repent, I was wrong, I was insensitive, young and impulsive. The boy that I was could not accept responsibility however the man that I am can. My words are not based on a hollow surface. I have really put in the work necessary. I have went into the depths of my heart, allowing God to soften every spot. I have taken every treatment offered to me. I attend any event that gives back to the victims, my motto is simply, "NO MORE VICTIMS!" I stand on this principle and I haven't displayed any anger violently in 15 years. I could not have come to this conclusion without being set free first. I was in a prison on the streets just like many are in today. I can’t change the past and if could have dealt with my issues differently than I did, I would have. My heart goes out to all the people that I hurt, and it is my sincerest prayer that at some point they are able to live a life of normalcy. I would like to be physically free one day and I know that my freedom would come at a high price. Just as I am today I have become an active member of help breaking the vicious cycle. By confronting lies, distortions, and toxic emotions. I counsel victims of abuse, I speak to young men, and children who are trapped with the same identity crisis I was once faced with.

I have studied Psychology for 2 years, I have finished school and will further my education. I am a motivational speaker. I have studied/applied Biblical principles to my everyday living. With all I've done the least that I can do is not stay the same. I think that will be the worst thing that I could do is not change. It is possible, I could stay the same. I could self medicate. I could make excuses; I could even drink self made alcohol. There is a way to escape, But God forbid how dare I run from a part of me. I had to embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have put in the work but if it wasn't for my belief in God, and the revelations He gave me then yes I think I should stay in prison. The things I did to get me here didn't make me happy. I hurt people, just as I was hurting, I hurt others. The difference between you and I is that at the lowest period of your life you didn't lash out. Or maybe you did but these destructive behaviors did not start when I was an adult. It started when I was at the Impressionable stages of my life. When my brain chemistry was not yet solids I will not take from what happened 15 years ago. But what now? From the age of 10 to 17 years old I had to endure what I thought to be pure hell.

The way I was living was not living at all. So truth be told I never really had a chance to live outside of my oppression. What's the use for punishment when there is no real chance for rehabilitation? Should I stay in prison for the rest of my life? For what? For what I've done? If you believe so why? Why should I stay in physical prison when I am no longer in a mental prison? Or emotional prison, when substance abuse is no longer a factor. I don't want to get out just to be in the way. I want to put in hard work, I want to prove my worth. When you are conscious you come to understand that life is not about you. I messed up big time and society knows this. Should I get a chance to be a major contribution for awareness? Everyone deserves a second chance don't you think? When you become conscious it's about retribution, giving back. I want to serve, I want to be on the front lines advocating against sexual abuse, and violence. Substance abuse, childhood traumas and learning acceptance. True justice is not locking me up and throwing away the key. This translate that I am no good, that I can’t be used for something. I agree with getting prison time. I agree with having to pay restitution, I just don't agree with 290 years. This sentence doesn't reflect the hard work I put in to become a better man A better Son, a good Brother, an awesome Father, and a trusted friend. This doesn't fit the hard work I am willing to put in for not only those whom I affected but those who continues to be affected. I sincerely apologize for all of the hurt that I've caused. I'm sorry to all of my victims. To my Mother, to my Daughter, to my Brothers and-also to my Niece's and Nephew's. To the community I apologize as well. Thank you for listening.
also see: Tyrone Munson blog post one
Tyrone Munson blog post two

Friday, July 26, 2013

Carl Morgan

Carl Morgan #529452
WSPF; PO Box 9900; Boscobel, WI 53805
Click once on story photos below to view larger.



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Friday, February 8, 2013

Jevon Jackson

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Profile


-NAME: Jevon Jackson
#299078

ADDRESS: Columbia Corr. Inst.; P0 Box 900; Portage, WI 53901

-SENTENCE: Life with parole in 2078

-CONVICTION: Armed Robbery, Homicide, Possession of Weapon

-AGE INCARCERATED: 16 years old -DATE OF BIRTH: 5/07/77

-ELIGIBLE AGE FOR PAROLE: 101 years old

SHOULD I BE GIVEN A 2ND CHANCE?: If prison is truly about rehabilitation, then I’ve consistently demonstrated, over the past 20 years, that I am reformed and ready to integrate back into society as a productive, hard—working man. I’ve taken advantage of all available education opportunities, maintained ongoing and steady employment since being incarcerated, and I continue to learn relevant jobs skills (such as basic computer skills).

I’ve avoided violent altercations and all criminal activity, which is a challenge within itself considering that prison is a violent and turbulent environment where fighting is a normal part of everyday activities.

During the span of my incarceration, I’ve evolved into an introspective Man who has purpose and compassion and the self— motivation to improve, not just myself, but the people and the circumstances that surround me.

What’s troubling is that the state of Wisconsin does not recognize legitimate “rehabilitation” as a reason to allow one’s sentence to be reduced, but yet, the state does allow sentence reductions for guys who provide helpful information to law enforcement agencies. For example, if a guy has information that could help the state convict another person suspected of committing a crime, then such a situation would allow a guy to get his sentence reduced, regardless if he’s legitimately reformed or not. But when a person consistently demonstrates the measure of his rehabilitation, over a 20 year span, by living a positive and purpose-driven life, then this should also factor in when considering to allow someone a sentence reduction.. Vet, it’s not.

I’m hopeful that more people out there continue to recognize that 16 year olds do not have the same degree of culpability as adults, and that juveniles shouldn’t be treated the same as adults when being sentenced. Juveniles should definitely be punished for their wrongs, but the punishment must be comparative to their level of maturity. If a 16 year old is not mature enough to be allowed to vote or buy liquor, then it would be cruel and unreasonable to suddenly treat the 16 year old as an adult when issuing punishment for a criminal conviction.


-cONTACT INFO: Please feel free to contact me at the address above or leave me a short message at www.prisoninmates.com/Jenb7ackson299O78

 Poem
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MILLER versus ALABAMA


From the bottoms of the earth’s blood to the Saturns in the skies, we survive the wormwood
where Jeffrey Dahmer dies.

Between a wall and a steel cot we conceal the ruckus in our dreams, Damn near 40, and under lock since we were incorrigibly 16.

Convicted teens, this is all we know-— prison prison prison and jail, But they just don’t wanna let us go so we can prove our evolution, availed.

A hundred years is not a hundred years,
No, not in the deep dark rear of iniquity;
A hundred years imprisoned is a blind cruel beast
that strangles us, long, beneath its wild blue sea.

We’ve watched our baby Loved Ones
become parents with their own families, (we’re locked away); We’ve witnessed mischievous little cousins
grow into esteemed collegiate honorees, (we rot away).

Some of us have beeĆ¼ gone so long that nobody plays that song anymore! Most of us growl and sneer, to be strong
because its hard to fit Love through that door.

From the darkness of a coal mine to the brilliance of sparkling stones; We shine mighty in the mind
as we climb our way home.

[Note: Miller v. Alabama is a Supreme Court ruling (from 2012) where the court decided that it was unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to a “mandatory” punishment of Life without parole; although, judges are still allowed to sentence juveniles to Life without parole, judges must consider the “mitigating factors of youth” before imposing such a harsh sentence.]
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WHAT I’VE SEEN


I once watched a prison take a child and stretch him into angles, so when that little boy walks home, instinctively, they all scram out his way.

I once watched a prison
fight a tiger--biggest one I’ve ever seen, with claws that plucked dragons quick out the sky;
I once watched a prison smite a tiger gut a lair twist a jungle inside out.

I once watched a prison stomp—stomp, extemporaneously, on all the glowing garden flowers budding fresh in our Imaginations, so when folks speak of orchids and azaleas and sun-kissed lilies, we run to hush their lips, for safe.

I once watched a prison do long division with human heads, with cold bodies coiled tightly
in the damp black earth, fresh mud, the fingernails-- a filthy team of angst and cudgeled anger crumpled into a fist
of sloped open graves.

I once watched a prison shrivel up the sun into an orange pebbled nut, not with bergs of ice or black holes, but simply with the bent silhouette of its stone razored face pressed firm
against the dirty glass window.


--by Jevon

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THE HOPE ROOM


I go there
when the light weighs a thousand tons, and I am unable to move
from this cold, boulder, locked;

I go there
when What Is Next leans offensive against my surface, my purpose, my name;

I go there not to get away, but to get a way to heal this, to feel the good Cod medicine warm quiet against the rind;

I go there
when I am most confused, when
I fall nauseous to the wicked creep
of wretched circumstance, the dragon;

I go there, the vacant old pagoda, to soothe crumpled wings, make rich-- the tiny pauper;

I go there (frequently, I show up there) when I am broken, a billion smithereens
from scattered dust to gathered stars, truly I show up there, way—way up there, with asteroids for guts and green planets for brains;

I go there
to sip slow, the sun, to feel the glorious weightless push of bliss plus bliss plus melody;

I go there
whenever I am not here,
when the soul needs a good place to eat,
a space it knows as roam sweet.








Thursday, July 19, 2012

James Earl Jackson

My Life, My Struggles, My Story
James Earl Jackson and his Dughter 2012, now 20
James Earl Jackson #200607
RCI
PO Box 900
james Sturtevant, Wi 53177

My name is James Earl Jackson. I was born in St. Louis, MO on April 1, l976. I am now 36 years old. I am the second oldest of four. I am my mothers only son.

I grew up on the north side of Milwaukee. My mother moved here after my father was killed in St. Louis. My father was shot and killed just two weeks after my second birthday. I was too young to remember my father but I was told that my father was a good man and loved me as his own. I always wanted a father when I was growing up! And for some reason I always wanted to meet the person who murdered my Dad.

My mother’s name was Irishstina Ann Jackson and for whatever reason, she always told people that she was from the ‘show me state” whenever she became upset. My mother was a good mother as a single mother of four(3 girls, one boy) . She did the best that she could to raise and to provide for us. I love my mother very much and I will always remember her as the number one mom in the world.

Unfortunately my mother was not strong enough to continue facing and standing up to all the problems that life put on her. She looked for and found her peace of mind in the use of drugs and alcohol. Tragically on June 1, l990 at 6:30 pm that Friday evening my mother was pronounced dead.

The cause of my mother’s death was a drug overdose. Sadly my mother was pregnant with twins when she died. My mother was 33 years old at the time of her death. She was so young and certainly too young to have died.

I was l4 years old when my mother died. I remember feeling like life doesn’t matter to me anymore and as I had no father and now no mother, I felt like I wanted to die myself.
I never had a male figure in my life to guide me positively to the duties of manhood. I never had a positive example to follow in my transformation from a boy to a man! I was a little boy in pain being emotionally destroyed by all that was happening to me in my life. I just wanted to feel loved and accepted by somebody. I wanted a family I just wanted to feel like somebody.
At 14 years old I felt like I had nobody to turn to. I felt like nobody understood me and how I was feeling about the loss of my mother. I turned to my childhood friends in my neighborhood because they are the only people that I felt understood me. For the most part we all was fatherless and had drug addicted mothers. Everyone called us trouble makers and told us that we all would be dead or in prison before our 18th birthdays ( Sadly, these predictions were correct).

By this time in my life I didn’t care about what people said about me or my childhood friends because the truth is that, I found love and acceptance in my friends they were the only family that I had known. None of us had parents to tell us what to do or when to come in , or where to go to school etc… For the most part we all did whatever we wanted to do. We had no curfew so staying out on the streets until two or three oclock in the morning was normal for us.
As a child I had so much anger inside of me, I didn’t care about who I hurt nor did I care about what might happen tome. I hated God. I hated life and honestly I hated being me.
In l992 shortly before my daughter was born, I committed a horrifying crime. I shot and killed a man in his own home. On June 10 1992(at 16 years old) I turned myself in to the Milwaukee police department for the crime I had committed. I was sent to a juvenile detention center and shortly thereafter I was waived and moved to the adult court system. ( I never seen or hugged my daughter as a free man).

My being 16 years old at the time, I didn’t understand anything about the law nor the legal troubles that I was in. I was kept among adult repeat offenders and they repeatedly told me to go to jury trial and to not take the plea deal that my public defender attorney advised me to take. As I listened to these adults , I went to jury trial, (against my own choice) and I was found guilty of 1st degree intentional homicide.

On Jan. 5, l993 – 3 months before my 17th birthday- I was sentenced to life in prison with a parole eligibility date set for January, 2025.

At the time I committed my crime I didn’t understand the seriousness of what I had done. I didn’t understand the seriousness of what I had done to the victim or myself.
I wasn’t until I was around 29 years old, that I finally began to realize the truly reality of what I had done. It was at this time that I began to realize and fully understand how much pain that I had caused my victim’s family, and that I had taken a life from this world.

I then started thinking about the relationship between actions and consequences. This started me to thinking about good choices rather than fast bad choices. With this I began to adopt positive change in my life. I begin to think before acting. I started to understand the importance of making productive decisions rather than destructive decisions. I finally understand the power of positive thinking.

I have learned so much in prison. I understand that some mistakes I will never stop paying for and that I have to learn to live the and deal with my life problems in a responsible manner. I have learned how to accept responsibility for all my actions. As a child I didn’t know how to accept responsibility for my actions because I always made an excuse and put blame for my action on the things that I been through as a child.

As my mind matured, I came to realize that I am the only person that is responsible for my actions, and for all the choice that I make in my life. As a man I accept full responsibility for everything I have done. I have made so many mistakes and I have learned from my mistakes but most importantly I have also learned from the mistakes of others.

As a mentally matured adult I don’t believe that I should be let off the hook for my crimes as a juvenile. I believe that everyone should be punished for any and all criminal activity in which he or she involve themselves in whether he or she be a juvenile or an adult, however I strongly believe in second chances! I don’t believe that a 15 year old or a l6 year old juvenile should be sent to prison for life as if a juvenile can’t change his or her ways of thinking. . Juveniles can change and I believe that all juveniles should be given a second chance to prove that their destructive behavior could be transformed into positive constructive behavior if given the chance to prove it. I’m a 36 year old man . I been in prison since I was 16 years old and since I been in prison I have changed my way of thinking and I have changed my behavioral patters. I have earned my H.S.E.D. and I became a licensed barber/cosmetologist. I have took classes on character development and I’m constantly trying to better myself as a person.

My goals are to be home with my 20 year old daughter that would love for me to be a part of her life. If paroled I want to open my own barbershop and start an Intervention program for troubled teen to help them to not make the same mistakes that I have made.

I am praying for a second chance at real life. If you have any questions or comments please write me at address listed above.

James Earl Jackson #200607

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Joseph Orosco

Essay by Joseph Orosco who was waived into adult court at 16.

I have a question. What constitutes an 'adult offense' v. a juvenile offense? I ask because here I sit, in prison, for a crime I committed at 16. I do not believe that there should be NO consequences for my actions. I agree, I was wrong. Nonetheless, it's the length and rationale with which I have the disagreement with. How can a person be told that at 16 yrs. old, once he/she has done a certain behavior, they are subject to the 'adult' standard of consequences, Where's the logic in all of this? The Supreme Court ruled in its Roper decision that a juvenile cannot be sentenced to the death penalty because they are not capable of making a fully informed decision. That the adolescent doesn't have the full use of the brain's ability to make a decision on the long term consequences (whether good or bad) because the pre-frontal cortex hasn't reached it's fully developed stage. This is science telling people this and the Court agreed. Include the other choices that are reserved for a person who is 'of age'. Not until a person is 18 can they purchase any tobacco products, vote, live on their own, buy alcohol (even that age was upped l8 to 21 because of the ability to make an informed decision), cannot graduate from high school nor complete the GED/HSED testing. A teenager must acquire a work permit before they can get a job even! But let that same adolescent/juvenile commit a crime that's been determined to be an adult offense and they're automatically waived into the criminal courts. The adult court. Where's the logic?! Who determined this? Is that a fundamentally sound decision? So, this juvenile is instantaneously considered an adult and stuck into a legal system that everyone else has gone to school for- they've all completed high school and have spent another 3-6 years in college afterwards. On top of that they've had other courtroom experience, and said juvenile is to aid the appointed advocate (he/she cannot afford an attorney. He/She doesn't work)in putting forth a viable defense, Really? All of that from a teenager who, by an action alone, is assumed to be cognizant? This is what is acceptable? "Oh, sure, that young person is getting what's best." What about the evolving standard of decency? In a country revered for its fairness and justice, this hardly seems to bolster that dogma. One of two countries in the world who sentence a juvenile to such a lengthy term (Life) and yet this is overlooked. The other is considered a third world country. The USA and Somalia. Love that patrio­tism... It just feels like a second wrong is being done here. It's not because I feel sorry for myself and this isn't to be taken as a boo-hoo. I don't EVER forget what it is that I did. It's fact and it is my burden. My gripe is the fact I continue to see others similarly situated who come into prison at a young age and become warehoused. There is no designed or special treatment given to a juvenile coming into the adult prison system. You get here and you sit down. No shrink comes to visit you. Except for the one that is customary during your arrival at Dodge for the Assessment and Evaluation phase. And that's to determine if you're a security threat. After that, there is no on-going mental evaluation. The person is an adult now, thanks to the predetermination based on the age at the time of an action. It's ridiculous. Anybody can have psittacistic behavior as to what is fed to person in school, but can that alone be equated to being "fully informed"? That's enough for "automatic waiver"? I'm coming up on 30yrs. old and have been really thinking about this for some time now. What is really taken into account on the part of the p s e u d o - a d u 1 t ? A Life sentence? Yet a drunk driver is given leeway because they're impaired. How many times do you see a drunk driver charged with First degree Intentional Homicide and receive a prison term equatable to that of what a pseudo-adult has been given. Let's keep in mind that a great majority of those convicted for a drunk driving offense resulting in a death are ADULTS!. And they've seen countless commercials informing said persons of the dangers. I don't know guys...pseudo-adults v. legitimate adults.... Cogitative processes... um..ouch. A dope dealer can sell to someone KNOWING that drugs can and do kill but, when a person dies as a result of the drug, and the dealer is identified, how likely is the dealer to receive a sentence like that which the pseudo-adult received? Fairness in full effect. So, who asks for a change? Who wants an overhaul? Or, at least, at least, a long and "fully informed" second look at the issue? This is okay to continue? What other options can be put forth? Who’s willing to say something other than myself in a 'social dia­tribe'? I am not asking just on my behalf but for all us who 're stuck with little recourse and otherwise stymied.

A voice with maturation,
Joseph Orosco 335933
Waupun Corr. Inst.
P.O. Box351
Waupun, WI 53963

Monday, January 24, 2011

Introduction


Second Chance For Juvenile Offenders
In this blog we will introduce and discuss a proposed program developed by two prisoners who have been incarcerated since they were children. It asks us to not only acknowledge that youthful offenders can and do change but to support their attempt at a second chance at life as a result of the significant changes they've made. Due to the fact that the majority of youthful offenders profiled here never had the opportunity to experience life before getting incarcerated for LIFE, it's safe to say that Second Chance For For Juvenile Offenders is advocating a second, first time at life for these now adult men and women. Men and women who are no longer the violent, self-destructive, misguided, youth they once were. Although the number of cases where a juvenile is sentenced to life without parole in Wisconsin are low, the number of those sentenced to life with parole are high. However, many of them aren't eligible to see the parole board for 20, 30, or 45 years or more. That's essentially life without parole. In 1989 judges were given the ability to set parole dates. What they failed to consider was the fact that people do change, especially children who are less culpable than the adults they were sentenced as.
We ask you to read the proposal and the profiles of the prisoners we have here. There will be more profiles and essays coming. We hope to encourage what is becoming a national discussion. As I put this blog together, the fate of juvenile offenders waived into adult courts is being discussed in the U.S. Supreme Court. Please read these young men/women's writings and you will agree that there has to be a time when we say enough !
Andre Bridges Above
Roy Rogers above

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Andrae Bridges tells story


Above: Andrae at time of arrest, Andrae now
Andrae Bridges #248420
FCI
PO Box 200
Fox Lake, WI 53933-0200
At The Hands Of His Mother
- Why we tend to throw our lives away; a worse case scenario -
- -' I knew of a little boy who suffered severe abuse at the hands of his mother. Such abuse consisted of verbal put-downs and insults, tons of head games and life threatening physical attacks. This young boy loved his mother dearly and practically worshipped the ground she walked on. If only I could get her attention without being beaten all would be all right, he thought. As a result, by the age of eight this young boy could cook, clean, sew, shop and do just about everything else within the guidelines of properly running a household. For he was obsessed with impressing his mother in the hopes that he would in turn receive the love he so freely gave.
Just when he thought he saw signs that his mother loved him, they were soon erased by her abuse. For he couldn't understand why he was constantly being subjected to such awful brutality. And it could have been for the smallest reasons; like forgetting to tie his shoe or losing the door key. He also got beat for the things his three younger siblings did, or didn't do. If that meant getting a black eye then so be it. He didn't want his brothers to go through what he was going through so he felt obligated to protect them and thereby took the blame for everything.
Aside from what this young boy underwent at home he was a high achiever who made the honor roll on a consistent basis and thereby loved school. Bright and intelligent beyond his years was this young boy. Unfortunately he had a few problems with his behavior. Teachers termed it hyperactive disorder but it was nothing more than this young boy's desire for attention manifesting itself. He was a class clown who really didn't take anything seriously. This resulted in classroom disruptions. Which ultimately led to some of the worse physical punishments any child should have to endure. Yet and still this boy protected his mother, for she could do no wrong! Besides, who would believe him?!
One incident in particular his mother beat him for what seemed like hours. Only to beat him more because he would not cry. This left the boy with two black eyes and a badly bruised body. Upon attending school the next day teachers saw this. Being concerned, they asked the boy, "What happened to you?" Without coaching from his mother, the boy simply stated, "I fell from the pear tree I was raiding." Although the teachers knew better, they accepted his story. Again, in his mind, Momma could do no wrong.
As time went on, so did the abuse. This young boy started to realize that there was no real way of escaping his mother. Often times he fantasized about running away, killing her, or simply killing himself, but he couldn't find the courage to do either. Along came an older friend. Someone he could consider a big brother, and someone he could put the blame on in the hopes of being spared a beating from time to time. God had looked upon him. For his plan seemed to work. But at what cost?
Simply put, at the cost of sexual abuse. Yeap! The someone he considered a friend and loved like a brother was sexually molesting this young boy. Thankfully that was short-lived (3 years) but the damage was done. All he had to contend with now was the abuse his mother had to offer.
As the young boy matured into a young man, so did the abuse at the hands of his mother. It was apparent that every time she attacked him, it was in the hopes of killing him. Not only had his mother broken several of his ribs but she chipped teeth and broke his jaw with an iron. That wasn't the worst part. Upon breaking his jaw, she refused to take him to the hospital until
several hours and a whole lot of swelling later. Staff at the hospital called the law because signs of child abuse were apparent. The boy wanted so bad to tell of the things he had not only been through but was going through as well. But he refused to make his mother look bad, even at the expense of his own safety.
Due to the fact that the young man's mother became a drug addict it was either prepare for a beat down because she didn't have and/or couldn't afford any drugs or make her "happy" by going to get some. As awful as it made him feel, the boy took it upon himself to purchase dope for her. For he still yearned for his mother's attention and affection. In addition to that, he was tired of suffering. All of that ultimately led to the young man using and selling drugs himself. For he could not only take care of the house, his little brothers and himself, but he could use his dope as a means to get his mother to let him hang out.
When the young man hung out, he practically stayed out. A beating was always in store but the little freedom he attained was well worth it. Besides, his friends showed him love and seemed to care, unlike his mother. Therefore in order to keep their love and attention he felt he needed to impress them; and impress them he did. School was no longer a priority, money didn't matter and neither did the opposite sex. In fact, he had a certain dislike toward females but he pretended to like them for the sole purpose of getting what he wanted, be it sex or money.
See, it was all about his gang. The one avenue he used as a means to "act out" his deep seeded anger and self-hatred. Therefore, when it came to gang-banging, he banged with the best. As a result he was considered crazy by his peers for the stunts he'd pull during shoot-outs or in general. To be considered crazy was to be looked upon as "not to be fucked with!" But the boy had an ugly secret. He never really intended to hurt anyone while letting his anger and rage free. NOPE! That was not the case. He just wanted to die. So upon acting out he hoped and prayed he'd one day receive the short end of the stick, as did many of those around him. That would be the ultimate escape from the abuse at the hands of his mother.
One frightful morning the young man unexpectingly got his wish. For he died a quick,, painless death at the hands of those who could have helped him had he "chose" to be helped!
- The End -
QUESTION:
"How" did this young man die and who killed him?
Without even knowing your answers I'm willing to bet they're wrong. Good! But wrong! You see, that young man is NOT dead at all. Not in the physical sense at least; which is exactly what you all may have concluded. "For he was killed by the Justice System." Whereupon at the age of sixteen he received a life sentence for First Degree Intentional Homicide-P.T.A.C. this in turn left him "institutionally dead!"
Andrae L. Bridges would be that young man and this is my story. I've been incarcerated for nearly eleven years and I have a lifetime to go. Although I've written about my life, this isn't about me at all. Better yet, it's about YOU! It is through my story I hope you all realize just how precious life is before you throw it away, as I did my own. Sure, you may have been abused as I was, or perhaps worse; you may still be getting abused which leaves you feeling worthless. Thus suffering from low self-esteem, depression, etc., etc., all together making you very angry! You're not alone! But trust me, nothing or no one is worthy of you throwing away your opportunity to live a positive and productive life! Love yourself enough to get help; You do have a choice! I don't intend to make anyone feel sorry for me, nor do I make excuses for my childhood behavior. My only goal now is to educate; in the hopes that you will not end up like me!

"That Kid" , Roy Rogers



THAT KID
My name is Roy Rogers, I'm 32 years old. When I was 16 years old I was sentenced to life in prison for first degree intentional homicide party to a crime.
If someone asked the question, "Roy how was your childhood, what was your life like?" My response would be, "I was that kid."
You know "that kid" that other parents wanted their kid to be like, that kid who was quiet and obedient to his parents. That kid who enjoyed to read and enjoyed school. That kid who got good grades and made the honor role. I was that kid that parents referred to when they chided their kids saying, "You need to be more like Roy!" Yeah, that kid. I was that kid, the least likely candidate for prison. This is who I was. So from elementary school to middle school I was an average kid who did not smoke, use drugs nor gang bang. The thought of doing so was stupid to me.
However, at the age of 13 I became obsessed with "the cool" and the "in crowd." You see I grew up in Mississippi, in the country and wasn't introduced to city life till I was 11 years old. So at 13, my country boy image was inter­fering with what was considered "cool" and "in." Consequently, I found a new set of friends who were not interested in comic books grades and band. They smoked weed, cigarettes, got drunk and hung out on the block. Most of the activities they engaged in were illegal, harmful and potentially life threatening and I was well aware of this.
However, these facts alone, the mere possibility of danger excited me; I was seeking a new experience.
So now I'm hanging out with thugs and gang members, I was more or less curious about the lifestyle; I was attracted to the image. I wanted to know for myself what it was all about. I wanted to know was it as bad as it was told to me by moms, teachers and media shows. As I spent more time out of the house on the block with them, my identity began to be shaped into theirs and I enjoyed being around them in that atmosphere. There likes and dislikes, creeds and way of life became mine.
So how did this begin to affect family, and friends where did it lead to?
How did these choices affect my family relationships? Well, I began to spend more of my free time with the guys on the block, wherever they were, I was expected to be there as well. Family events and activities took third place in my life, the "hood came first." Hood values took the place of my family values. I started lying to my family about where I was going and who I was with because I knew my family would strongly disapprove of my new friends and our brand of fun. I would hide things from my love ones specifically my secret lifestyle of thuggin’.
Also,I broke household rules moms laid out for me. Rules like, the established curfew, no drugs, smoking or drinking in the house. I neglected my house duties and my attitudes towards moms and her rules were negative which showed in my behavior.

How did these choices affect my friendships? The friends that I normally made time for and spent time with, took a back seat in my life. Why? Well, I felt they were boring and wasn't "on nothin," they were square. My new friends and old friends were from two different worlds and these two worlds didn't mix. I no longer shared the same interests as my old friends. My interests were now informed by the streets and my new set of friends. Having nothing in common with my old friends, we soon grew apart. They went their way and I continued to go my way. The things I was getting involved with they wanted nothing to do with.

And school? Well, as I said I did enjoy school; I valued education because this is how I was raised. When I began to rotate on the block more, I would skip school just to hang out with them. First, it would be just one class I would skip, then it would be the whole afternoon, then I would skip whole days! Kickin it, so I thought. My school attendance dropped, my grades dropped, my enthusiasm for school dropped. When I did go to school I was always tardy.
Where did all this lead to? Well, before I made the choice to see what them streets had to offer me, I was a kid who loved school, received good grades, didn't use drugs or alcohol, didn't smoke, never skipped school, no police contacts, no criminal record and involved in the church. I had big dreams and ambitions of graduating from college, owning my own business, raising a family and even pursuing a political career.

Sadly to say, the choice I made to sample the streets were connected to consequences that didn't lead me down a course of academic achievement, entrepreneur-ship, family building and political success. Instead, the choice I made at the age of 13 gave birth to a lifestyle. A style of
living that destroyed life and diminished the quality of life. Three years later found myself sitting in prison with a life sentence. That's what I became.

While in prison it took me a few years to actually come to grips with my new reality. I was depressed and didn't know I was depressed. I was traumatized and didn't know it was trauma. I recall during my waiver hearing that a social worker testified about me and said, " I think Roy hates himself." I went thru a period of self-loathing where I had given up on life and family, I embraced suffering and kept it within myself. Any wrong that occurred and any miscarriage of justice I experienced I felt it was part of my redemptive suffering. My communication with the outside world diminished.

I struggled with the question of why bother to better self, to what end and for what purpose and does it even matter. I was becoming a pessimist without knowing what pessimism was!
This is what characterized my years between 16-20. All these things played itself out in the context of the prison violence around me. Turing this time Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer were murdered.
Prior to Dahmer’s death I witnessed an earlier attempt on his life while in a church service. Things erupted so suddenly I was shaken. Being one of the youngest inmates in a "double max" made physical, mental and emotional development difficult to say the least. There were no process mental health groups to help me work thru all of this; the chapel was limited in its resources and there was no one I felt comfortable with talking to about this ... this was prison.

However, I came to an understanding of the forgiveness of God and the sacrifice of Jesus for sins and what it really meant to confess my sin. I faced the ugliness of my deeds, looked the monster in the eye and took ownership of it and buried it. I realized I was much much better than the worst I had done. I realized I had to go beyond remorse to repentance. My thinking and attitudes had to change and in turn my life, personality and character would change. I realized that I was obligated to live life. Live my life in light of my crime not in the shadow of my crime.
Meaning the source of all that was good in me derives from an understanding of the pain and destruction my crime caused and the determination to not allow such pain and destruction to happen again. And the only way to do that is to destroy the conditions that could potentially produce such pain and destruct­ion. I had to undergo a radical transformation that began at the thought level which moved to the word level, which manifested on the action level, which influenced the habit level which developed a new and improved character which has reset the course of my destiny from now till eternity.

Consequently, I began to engage life intensively. I began to study and educate myself any and everything to better myself. I engrossed myself in the pursuit of God. Three things saved my life in prison. Jesus, the Reach Out Program and Restorative Justice at CCI. My conversion set in motion what I would eventually achieve and accomplish. The reach out program was juvenile delinquency prevention program that targeted at risk youth to keep them from making the same mistakes we made. I was recruited for that group at the age of 16, talking to kids my age and younger about my life, mistakes and regrets. I grew up in that group. Hearing the stories of the other convicts in that group helped me just as much as it helped the kids who were attending the program. That was from 1994 till 2002.

In 1999, I was introduced to the philosophy of Restorative Justice by Warden Jeffrey P. Endicott. This gave me a frame of reference to explore victim awareness issues and the triangular impact of my crime on the victim, the community and the offender. This philosophy gave me the tools needed to do my part to live out restorative justice by involving myself in community service projects, victim awareness programming; writing music and songs that deal with victim awareness themes. From that point on I tried to measure all my activities by the standard of repairing the hurt because I acknowledged the hurt my crime caused.

These three life savers drove me to express myself as a musician and songwriter. I learned to play piano in prison. At CCI, GBCI and OSCI I operated as the chapel's choir director and chief musician. I'm currently the keyboard player here at SCI. At these prisons I have provided musical services for graduations, veterans' programs, victim awareness programs, volunteer banquet programs and memorial services for fellow deceased inmates. This is who I am.
With these words I have attempted to paint a picture of who I was, what I became and who I am now. I have reaped what I have sown. Now I am sowing good things and I am expecting to reap the same. And whether the doors of the prison open for me or not; I will continue to serve Jesus, live life as a whole human being and be blessing to those around me