(Painting: Ex-Convict on Society’s Strings)
Convicts Marching like Ants…to nowhere
And here we go.
Speak the word aloud as you read, let them soak in…then you’ll see something quit horrible and demeaning or worse-Destruction of Hope.
Keep That Line Straight!
And here we go.
Marching in a line like ants and now, you have completed the Greatest Task you will ever Learn in Prison.
You are by far a good little Inmate.
Hey Offender, I likes you.
But now comes the hardest thing any CONVICT. ANY OFFENDER. OR ANY INMATE now MASTER.
Yes, they must all Master Freedom!
But which Freedom?
In an Electronic Ankle Bracelet?
Hmm, that’s a gosh darn ugly one.
Or Probationary Freedom? And you Must Master a J O B.
That Last one is a real boomer.
Convicted Felon on a String!
Strings for your Lips, Your Legs.
All on a String.
And you’re all in it NOW!
And forget what you learned.
Being Free, well, it don’t mean being free.
You still a Convicted Felon.
And you are Marked! Marked for Life!
And sure, you came out with Dreams, well, throw them away!
Others before you done ruined it for you!
You say, CAN’T be that away.
But dang Skippy, it sure is.
Society done threw you away once, done tossed you down some deep hole behind some steel bars so none of us gots to looks at you no mo. And they say you done been getting out.
And don’t you think that The Government Man ain’t done already told all of us you getting out.
We told, we ready for you again. You AGAIN.
And you think you got friends.
Ain’t no friends out here Convicted Man.
You done stole that Friendship once from all of us.
And now you expecting what? What? Yes, all of us want to know NOT. No, we really don’t.
And did I miss anything? Did I leave anything out? I’m not trying to play with you. This is a serious write about a crippling situation in America. The What an Ex is going to get.
This is it! The above is how the Ex-Offender will be greeted by most of Society when they get out.
Getting out is a question, not a statement. Getting out is the goal. But the hardest, most difficult hardship for the Ex is MAKING IT ON THE OUTSIDE.
Work is a hundred times harder for the Ex because no one wants to give them a chance. A real chance.
Prison is ten times easier that Making it.
Making it is getting out, getting a roof over your head, a bed, food, and WORK. A means to get all the previous mentioned. Most Americans are always hearing about one needed change in the Prison Horror Story after another.
But the real nightmare, the real thriller is NO WORK, NO JOB, NO PLACE TO LIVE, and yet. ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM OF MORE PRISON REFORM.
Inside Prison is NOT THE PROBLEM!
OUTSIDE PRISON is. That’s where the Real Reform needs to come. The real battle begins. Many worry about Illegal Immigrants getting that good job. Your job it might be, but heaven forbid if it goes to am Ex.
And let’s face FACTS-FACTS-Everyone already has their BOOGEYMAN IMAGE in their minds of what a Convict is.
And it doesn’t matter what the felony was, when you mention the word CONVICT, your Boogeyman Image will pop into the mind. And the rest is discouraging for the Ex.
Some Offenders know the real Societal Truth of it all and admit this-I’m going back to a Life of Crime.
And they mean it. They already been trampled-down when they got out.
They already know the long days and nights of no food in their stomachs.
They already know the coldness of long wintery back alleyways.
But do you? It’s easy to latch onto a cause when the Cause has all the pretty bells and whistles and flashing lights attached to it making it look so attractive.
But Making it, I mean really Making it with gain-ful employment is like finding a large perfect Diamond in Texas! And guess what?
It’s never been found yet.
And when I saw Ex-Offenders return to the Unit I worked, I would ask them what happened? And I heard this many times-
It’s rigged. No one will give you a chance. And they’ll pick on you like you had a disease always making Convict Remarks. Boss, you don’t have a clue how cruel it is out there. It’s ten times worse out there. Here in Prison, it’s easy. You have it all.
And when you get out, you done get another ball and chain attached to your ankle called a Probation Officer. It never ends. Something happens and you soon make All the Usual Suspects Line-Up! Always pissing in a bottle all the time.
They’ll never trust you again. No one does. And all of them asked me if I was a Rapist or Child Molester or knew how to make drugs and could teach them. And some will even try to get you Licked-Uo again. It’s horrible. Just horrible.
It pains me. It really pains me to see that one Felony cost me a Life Sentence. And it was only a three year sentence. But no one cares. No one.
And I saw many Tear-up after saying similar words to those above. And can things be changed around?
Most likely not. Society foes on change and in ways, I guess all of Society turns a cold eye on the Ex. Most wished they could never get out.
And where do you fit into all of this? You ever hired an Ex? Ever given an Ex a chance?
Or did you keep them at bay like a Lion Tamer with his whip and chair?
God Bless…the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author-