1/31/2011

I WAS A JUVENILE DEFENDANT




Juvenile Defendant




Afraid, Angry, Confused, Dazed, Denial, Depressed, Lost.........................,  
These words describe what I consistently see within the eyes of the nearly  two hundred teenagers that share this maximum security prison with me. I see the contents of these words trapped behind their eyes and yearning for a resolution that cruelly never arrives. They are the words that their experiences with the judicial and penal systems has tattooed upon their hearts With and they are the chisels that are recreating the way they see themselves and the world. Without the embrace of a rehabiltive programme or a support system designed to guide them, upon entry to the prison,these teenagers are abandoned to wallow in the emotional cesspool created by these words.
             It is heartbreaking to look into their eyes and see what I see, and i am constantly reminded that their eyes used to belong to me A fact that affords me ability to thoroughly comprehend to how deep of an emotional and psycological hole they are in. For through the use of hindsight I can intimatley understand the nature of these words that perpetually  tortures them
            Though I am certain that its the world that needs to better understand what the eyes of these children reflect, cause unfortunatley far to few people (ie.legislators, judges, prosecuters) have sought to uncover the true impact that adult prisons have on the emotional and psychological deelopment of children. For a closer look into their eyes would reveal that they are AFRAID of being beaten up by correctional officers or other inmates and of being sexually assaulted by the penitentiary predators, that they are AFRAID of being exploited by the gangs that thrive in the prison enviornment, and that they are AFRAID of the oppressive loneliness that is created when a child is so far away from home/parents.
 A closer look would reveal that they are ANGRY about being born into an era that so easily and quickly strips them of their personal value, rendering thier talents irrelevant, so readily gives up on them, and so prematurely deems them incorrigible. ANGRY for not being blessed with the powerful role model that could have guided them  through the mindfield of adolescence, ANGRY because of their inability to suffficiently articulate their pains and frustrations. ANGRY  because they live in the world that so angrily detest and reject them. A closer look into their eyes would reveal that they are CONFUSED about why the judge held them to an adult standard when they are clearly chidren and about why the judge gave them such severe and life destroying sentences. CONFUSED about how to deal with themselves and about how to conduct themselves in this "new" world. It would reveal that they are DAZED by the harsh realities of prison, by the shock of the solitude, the cruelty of the atmosphere. DAZED by the force of adult situations and the weight of adult sophistication,It would reveal that they are in DENIAL about the fact that they will literally spend the next ten, twenty, thirty or even forty years in prison. that the combingin factors of their circumstances has left them chronically DEPRESSED and some with suicidal ideations. A closer look into thier eyes would reveal that they are LOST within a concrete jungle and not knowing how to get onto the path that leads to their maximal development emotionally and intellectually , nor o the places where their talents have matured and their purpose on earth is discovered.
      What I see within their eyes of these teenagers make it abundantly clear that the adult prison system is destroying every significant peice of them.  Its clear that this prison is poisoning their spirits, and mudering their futures. Its clear that they should not be in a maximum secirity prison.
        When I look into  the eyes of the teenagers that they share this maxmum security prison with me i clearly see them frantically, urgently and dreadfully screaming............
                                                                                          HELP!!!!! 




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