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Today I awoke to hear that a young guy, who appeared to be around 21 to 23 years old, had hung himself right across the hallway in the small holding cell across from my barracks.

He looked fine the night before, but I had known something was wrong when he cut off the few plaits that hung down off his head. My understanding is that he was being held for pre-lock up. 

I don’t know if he was on drugs or if he was suicidal, but he must have thought about that when he became incarcerated because I believe that whatever is in you will be brought out by circumstances. 

I’ve also seen plenty of inmates die from smoking K2 synthetic cannabinoids, known as “deuce.” Their whole lives are gone. 

We really need more programs to start correcting prisoners. That’s what the letter C in ADC stands for — the Arkansas Department of Corrections. 

How can we correct ourselves when there’s too much negativity around to influence us?

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.

Rufus Poindexter Jr. is a writer incarcerated in Arkansas. He was born and raised in Little Rock.