Posts Tagged ‘Prison’
Beyond Prisons: A New Interfaith Paradigm for Our Failed Prison System explores the history of the American penal system and presents a moral and ethical criticism of the state of the current prison system.
Beyond Prisons: A New Interfaith Paradigm for Our Failed Prison System is available for purchase on Amazon.
The Forgotten Victim
© Alison Henderson
‘That’s her there! her hubby’s inside!’
‘How can she stand by him?’ a neighbor cried!
‘I’d throw away the lock and key!’
‘That husband of hers should never be free!’
‘That woman can do so much better than him!’
‘I’d throw all his letters away in the bin!’
‘Just what can he offer now he’s locked away?’
‘A complete waste of space!’ she shouted that day.
‘That’s the one there! her boyfriend’s inside!
‘He’s scum of the earth!’ a neighbors implied!
‘If I was her, well I’d meet someone else!
‘Not wasting my life to be left on the shelf!
‘That woman’s been left to cope with the shame’
‘It was all over the papers! and gave out his name’
‘He’s useless! A criminal! Bring back the rope!’
‘He’ll do it again! for him there’s no hope!’
That man you condemn has a child and a wife
A Mum and a Dad who has given him life!
What would you do if this happened to yours?
Deny all your love and close all the doors?
Do you honestly think I’d sink to a level
And just turn my back and deem him a devil?
Yes! He’s done wrong and is serving his time
And No! I do not agree with his crime.
‘That woman’ you point at, yes it is me
I was born with a name, as I’m human you see!
I’m innocent! just incase you’ve forgot
And love him whether you like it or not!
I’ve had the abuse, the comments and more
It’s nothing I haven’t heard all before
I mean no offense when I say this to you
I’m a victim as well- A forgotten one too.
Read more prison poetry here.
This article in the Guardian highlights how former service members are disproportionately ending up in UK prisons. According to the author, soldiers returning from war with post-traumatic stress disorder are not getting the proper care they need and consequently are more likely to commit crimes.
As with many kids, my son (now age 17) got mixed up with a bad bunch. He was caught in possession of drugs, never squealed on the other kids so he was the only one punished and was sent to a Youth Camp for 9 months. He came home, mixed with them again and committed a more serious crime… with them. This time he has been sent to a prison for 3 3/4 years.
Too Young For Bars…
© Ken Budden
Not a day goes by I don’t think of you Son,
Locked up like an animal and still so young.
It doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t seem fair.
The sentence they gave you by putting you there.
But the crime has been done…you rejected advice,
And young as you are, you must now pay the price.
It breaks my heart knowing what you now face,
And I pray your return from that forbidding place.
The root of the problem was the company you kept,
Being out of a night-time while the rest of us slept.
You were easy to talk to, you fell in their trap,
And they stayed at home while you took the rap.
You were given a chance, to a Youth camp you went,
I was hoping that that was a ‘lesson well spent’.
But when you came home, you met with them again,
Now look at the trouble you’ve got yourself in.
I remember your young days, teaching you right from wrong,
Telling you never be weak, and always be strong.
Your manners were perfect, they said so at school,
The girls all adored you and thought you were cool.
But it’s never too late, I know this time you’ve learned,
Like the proverbial ‘new leaf’, it is you who has turned.
A new life awaits you, there are people who care,
Who love you and need you and will always be there.
Love, Dad xxx
Read more prison poetry here.
Ethnomusicologist, Alan Lomax, began field recording of folk music when he was just a teenager alongside his father, John Lomax, a pioneer in the field. When he was 18, on a visit to the Angola Prison, Lomax and his father discovered the music of a prisoner named Huddie William Ledbetter, better know as Lead Belly. The hundreds of Lead Belly’s songs they recorded were just a blip in their eventual collection of tens of thousands of field recordings for the Library of Congress.
Volumes I & II are available to purchase through Rounder Records HERE.
Several tracks have been uploaded as videos that can be found HERE.
Elaine Leeder’s book Inside and Out: Women, Prison, and Therapy takes a look at the growing problem of female incarceration. Leeder’s uses her feminist perspective to dispel stereotypes about women offenders. The book also includes an in-depth analysis of how violence has affected women and led to increased criminality.
Inside and Out: Women, Prison, and Therapy can be purchased on Amazon.com.
The author is trying to convey that within the walls of prison, there is plenty of time to think of how things could have been different.
Thinking About Mother
© Terrie L. Sherman
Within these walls this prison
My mind and thoughts run free.
I think of mom and days gone by
And of what she meant to me.
I wonder how life would have been
Had she not gone away
And would I be behind these bars
If she were here today
How would my life be different?
I’ve asked a million times
If I could only talk to her
She might have stopped my crimes.
I’m thankful for the time we had
But she could not have known
Of the dark void left within my life
In the years since she’s been gone.
I needed her and miss her.
I love her for a fact
But I know my life is different
And I know I can’t turn back.
Read more prison poetry here.
Caleb Smith’s The Prison and the American Imagination is a study of incarceration and the dehumanizing loss of freedom as an inherent part of being an American. Smith references political as well as literary texts in his argument.
The Prison and the American Imagination is available to purchase from Amazon.
Journalist Kal Wagenheim, editor of Inside Out: Voices From New Jersey State Prison, talks on the radio about teaching writing in a maximum security prison, and why the state’s department of corrections doesn’t want the inmates to have his book.
Read more about Wagenheim’s work here.
|World within a World
There’s a world that exists
When you breathe in the air
With its own laws whether outdoors or indoors
But you don’t let it in