Regrets & Reflection: Prison Makes You Numb

To answer the question: what’s it like to be in prison? I’ve been here for 19 years straight. Been here since I was 17 as a first time offender. I don’t know if I’ll ever go home. Prison is a very lonely place. I made some poor choices during a brief period in my life and I’ll pay for it for the rest of my life. Regret for the things we do isn’t something that gets a lot of thought when we’re young, but as we get older it’s something that pretty much controls your thought. I regret so much! Not because I’m in prison, not because I got caught, but because I’ve grown up realizing that my actions were wrong and extremely unnecessary. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to breathe a breath of fresh air from the other side of these walls, and that hurts because I’ve never even had the chance to experience life. All the things that I thought were so important as a youth (weed, stuff, stealing, being a smart ass, lying) are embarrassing to me now. I sit here and shake my head for taking freedom for granted. I’m a thinker, so most of my time is spent contemplating my past and dreaming of a future that I’ll most likely never have. I realize it’s hard being a kid, I struggled in my own way, but looking back I can see clearly that people were there to help and yet I never asked for it. Moving on, prison is not fun! It’s tense; it’s filled with people who couldn’t give a dang about you. The food is horrible, the jobs work you like crazy and pay you in pennies, sports are always edgy because fights happen over everything, and you can’t have nice things because others constantly get jealous. Visits with friends, family, and loved ones becomes infrequent because they get hassled a lot by the guards when they come so they don’t want to come back for later visits. Prison makes you numb. Everything is governed by strict rules that seem to be designed to strip you of all identity. You just become a number that’s expected to follow directions according to what they want. That’s not life. Nothing I ever did was worth the consequence of spending even a single day here, that’s the truth. I’m ashamed that this is what I’ve made of my life, but I understand that this is what I deserve as a result of taking someone’s life.

I hope you’ll read these words and realize you have a chance to turn your life around! Don’t waste it.

James

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