As the deadly coronavirus plague stalked its victims throughout the “Q,” the basketball, handball, baseball, soccer field, and tennis courts were left silent and the running track was left deserted.
I came back from a Saturday morning jog and had just gotten out of the shower when I heard the crackling of the North Block public announcement system. “Yard and dayroom recall,” a correctional officer shouted. “Everyone lock it up!”
From Washington to Florida, nine Prison Journalism Project reporters across the country share views from their communities on the 22.5-year sentence for Derek Chauvin.
So many prisoners from all races want this man dead, especially the Black race. Not only does he have to worry about being targeted and possibly murdered in prison, but the gangs will put a price on his head to deliver him to those who want to take justice in their own hands.
Everyday I wake up, time is running out.
I can’t figure out what this world is all about.
It wasn’t racism but resiliency—our hope, our strength, our turning the other cheek. That’s what’s kept America thriving.
I didn’t have to risk my life. I had no incentive for it. I have a life sentence for violent crimes. I’m not even considered to be human, according to public opinion. I can’t change, many say. But I wanted to help out my community. I wanted to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Eventually I began to wonder, why? Why would I take the pain of being in prison with a life sentence and couple it with the pain of running a marathon? The closer I got to the finish line the further it got away. My only energy eventually came from cheers, applause, pats on my back. But I was broken, limping, and in pain.
Like Stockdale, I read the Bible, I read history and philosophy… I began to see windows that I could look through and watch as historical figures conquered the same conditions I was facing.
Critical workers should be recognized for both their bravery during this life-threatening pandemic and for their exceptional assistance in ensuring the safety and security of the prisons. They should be, at minimum, awarded the entire twelve months of extraordinary conduct credits.