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.

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Matt Barnes

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.