Good men

Thursday, May 5, 2016

   When I knew I was to be sent to prison I was terrified.  Like most of you reading this, I knew nothing about prison.  A lot of stories are told that I now know not to be true.  For a lot of men in prison, a D.O.C. sentence was part of their life’s plan.  Maybe they have a father, brother or cousin who’d done time.  Because of this lifestyle, they knew that the path they’re on leads to prison.  For me, such was not the case.

   From the beginning [of my time in prison] I was determined to never join a gang.  I was determined to never be a victim to anyone for any reason.  In regards to these areas I’m proud to be completely successful.

   I was scared.  I was young.  I’m not now, nor have I ever been a criminal, so, relating to most people here can be a challenge.

   I’m no longer scared and no longer young.  I also don’t find it such a challenge to relate to those who’ve been my peers for the last 17 years.

   It is often said that one should not ever fully trust anyone in prison.  It’s almost a true statement.  Not all inmates/convicts are created equal.  I’ve developed many friendships over the years.  I have befriended and been befriended by a handful of men I know I can trust.  Those I call friends have done a lot of time and have a lot more to go.  It’s not really a factor in determining who will or will not be my friend; it just turns out that way.

   My friends are genuinely good men.  I’m sad that such individuals are locked up, away from their families.  On the other hand, it makes doing time easier to have good people to talk to.  Yeah, you read it correctly.  They are good people.

   There are a lot of things a person can do in the joint that are non-productive or counter-productive.  The Department of Corrections does little, to nothing in living up to the department’s name.  So, if someone really needs help in honing their character, they are on their own.

   In light of these facts, there are a handful of inmates who take great strides in self-improvement.  D.O.C. often does not recognize when someone of their own volition decides to clean up their act.  I want to recognize that, here and now.

   I’d like to request of you, whoever you are, as you read this, to please refrain from snapping to a blanket judgment when someone breaks the law and/or commits a heinous act.  Sometimes really good people make very huge mistakes.

   I thank you for taking the time to read what I write.

Matt signature_1

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