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Photo by Wander Creative on Unsplash.

I see myself slowing slipping into that dark abyss
Destined to spend eternity
Warehoused and caged like a beast

Asking where is the humanity
Stripped of all integrity
And the right to be me

Another nameless one trapped in this insanity
Given a number
A practice to dehumanize
And deprive us the essence of life

More specifically, I am a dollar sign
In the profit
Of the prison-industrial complex
Otherwise known as CDCR
Where their bottom line is more precious than a human life
Fueled by the ideologies of a corrupt and capitalistic society

A living testimony that I stand
To prove to the world that even the people society has thrown away
Have the power and strength to change their destiny

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Matt Barnes recently completed his second associate's degree from College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif. He is a writer and poet incarcerated in California.