Saturday, August 1, 2009

Letter From My Brother (or a Jailhouse Communication)

Good Morning All!

Below is part of a letter that my brother sent to me from his jail cell. I told him that I would put his thoughts out there online and see what other people thought about the justice system. Following his letter is my response to him – please comment and let us know what you think on this topic

Dad thinks I should join the Navy when I get off probation and I’m really thinking about it, then again I may on the road I am on, I kinda like it here, I’m making a lot of friends and as long as I don’t have shit going for me out there then why not just have fun and if I come back so what. Like I said before, “3 hots and a cot”, but don’t tell Dad that, it would crush him; I really think he thinks that being in here is making me a better person. I hate to tell him that he spent all those years (in police work) breeding more criminals.

This is not the place for small time shit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to start doing all kinds of fucked up shit, I’m just trying to prove a point – that being in here is not doing anybody any good. All I want to do when I get out is smoke pot and do all the same things I did before, and everybody else in here is saying the same thing. “Can’t wait to do all the shit I was doing before” nobody is saying “Man I’m never going to do drugs again.”

I really think there is a better way to help people get better and it’s not jail. There is a guy in here that went to court drunk and got 30 days, all he talks about is as soon as he gets out, the first thing he is going to do is go get a beer, he doesn’t need jail he needs AA. I’m sure that I’d be much better off going to NA than jail. What kind of stupid people run this country? Do they really think that jail works? The only reason I’d think seriously about the Navy at this point is if I can’t find a job so I can buy weed.

I even talked to Dad’s friend’s kid who is in here; he is he for drugs too and he is in the drug program here and he even said that he can’t wait to get out and smoke a phat-azz blunt. So, tell me what good is being in here doing, besides learning what not to do and seeing how others got caught. The sad thing is that I think Dad really thinks that all those people he locked up in here, got out and never did anything wrong again. I hate to be the one to tell him that he has been part of the problem the whole time. Sometimes I think that the cops are dumber than the people they lock up.

I’m sorry; I just had to get some of this off my chest. I’d like to hear what you think about all this, is it making any sense? I mean people are going to do what they want to do no matter what. Write me back and tell me what you think put it online and see what other people think – I know I am not the only one who feels this way. I mean, I really don’t want to spend my life in jail, I am just saying that it isn’t helping anyone get off drugs or stop stealing. There’s a guy here who paid all his court fees by stealing and pawning everything and he says that he is going to do the same thing again this time.

Dear David:

I have been giving a lot of thought to your comments about jail not being the way to rehabilitate law breakers. Here is what I think. I think that the system is broken. Plain and simple – I don’t think that the majority of offenders stop breaking the law because they don’t want to go back to jail. I think that some times the people who are more likely to break the law are the type of people who don’t have a very nice or comfortable life, so jail is actually a better situation for them. Even you said that you eat, sleep, read, play cards, workout, etc. There is no work, no nagging kids, no bills to pay – I can totally see how jail might be a better life than being free.

However, there are certain people who do come out of jail ready to make a life change. The only big name that I can think of right now is Tim Allen. He went to jail for a while for drugs and came out ready to change his life and make himself into a different person. He channeled his experiences into a stand up routine and then went onto a successful acting career.

I hear you talking about how things are not changing the attitudes of some of the people you are in there with. I hear that you have ideas on what would work better. I think that jail will be what you make it, you can come out of jail and go back to doing and selling, or you can come out and become an advocate for change. You could get a license and start working on doing some drug counseling and start a grass roots political action group to work to effect change within the justice system. You are a very smart person; you work hard and see the world from a unique point of view. It makes since that people who have never been on both sides of the law can’t fully understand the mindset of the law breaker. They can’t know what would motivate people to make real and lasting changes in their lives. Yes, the system works to rehabilitate some people, but does nothing for the majority.

I will post this letter to you on my blog and see what kind of feedback I get from readers. I don’t actually have that many people who read me, so don’t expect much J


  1. hm, you won't like my thoughts on this! i agree that people DO need to be rehabilitated HOWEVER i don't think it's a deterrant to crime if offender's think that they're going to rehab and not jail. i think there should be rehab IN the jail.