Thank you everyone who sent in a question! There were so many and the emails I send my brother can’t be too long, but the second email is being responded to right now. I will update this page once I get it, so expect to check back in a week or so. I really do hope that although this is a short, quick little look into my brother, you understand there’s a human behind every cell. Criminals are more than their crimes, and I get how hard it is to see that. But even a murderer reads comics and hates sour cream.
If Destiny went to prison could she still eat vegan (haha just wondering about food options)?
Answer: its ironic b/c a lot of the nazis here are on the Kosher diet. Theres a vegetarian diet but i dont think a single person is on it, youd starve. But theres a salad bar and all you can eat fruit, so thats something. normal diet is best since its 30 different meals and it repeats every month. Only other decent one is kosher since it has a lot of protein, but theres only like 10 different meals. Gets repetitive
How do you view yourself after being labelled a “murderer”? Do you feel the need to prove otherwise to those who only see you as such?
Answer: anyone i knew irl or knew the victim will villify me as much as possible, which is okay. I did a horrible thing, no one deserves to die, and theres not really any way to retaliate other than villification (it sounds like a real word. I need to find a dictionary, so excuse all the misspellings). I dread when im able to get out and find a job, and someone googles my name and disaster happens (dont google my name please). So as fucked up it sounds, i dont mind the hatemail/labels i get. I am remorseful of what happened, and if an apology doesnt suffice, then ill let then call me whatever if it means closure for them.
Do i have to act differently? Only to new people i meet. Feel i have to show them im a normal person. i try not to be mean or anything
How do you feel about the prison system, and its punitive (meaning the state equates a sentence for a crime) rather than restorative (meaning an alternative way to approach justice in which all parties involved and affected benefit equally, and come to an agreement on how to redeem a crime) nature. Also, any thoughts on restorative justice?
Answer: I’ll give the general opinion of the prison system that ive seen most convicts have on it first. When we get out, we have supervised probation, which means up to 1-3 times a week we have to meet with a PO, who dislikes us before we even step in the door. Sometimes we just have to go on some kiosk at the DOC building and check in. Either way, fresh out of prison so we dont have cars, and finding a job is difficult that allows a flexible schedule so we dont miss a Check-in. If we miss check-in, thats’ a DOC violation and will mean 10-30 days in county jail. Means next time we go to the DOC place (department of corrections), we’ll get arrested. So people decide to go on the run while our probation officer visits places they know we frequent. leads to a ‘do everything i can before i get caught’ ie, heroin/meth. Which is the main cause of most crime ive seen. So when people are on supervised probation, they think that its not even worth getting a job or improving themselves, since its just a matter of time before they get arrested and lose everything again. Im not saying this is a handful of people, my year in county jail this was an epidemic, this mentality. you never saw new people come it, it was always the same dudes in and out. Then eventually theyd do something thatd warrant court, and theyd do more time in prison. Dont know how other states work but in Washington thats the problem.
My thought on it, i used to have the same view, prison should be for rehabilitation, not punishment, but ive grown very nihilistic recently. Id probably have a different answer if i was around medium/minimum security people, but in maximum its all gang members. Vast majority. Whatever gang or set it is, they usually have to stay putting in Work until they earn to calm down. So a lot of people here are already planning on doing dirt that will potentially lead to another stint in prison. The other problem is drugs. I can talk about the effects of drugs forever, and if you want a more indepth answer, mail me ;), but meth/heroin (crack/cocaine are a bigger issue on the east coast) is a lot more prevalent than you can imagine, and people’s mission of staying with a fix at ANY cost, is dangerous.
So prison system can be better, and i have various ideas on it, but what we need to put most of our effort into reforming is gang violence and drugs in the community. How we do it, ive no fucking idea, but the problem should be discussed more.
Hey there! I hope this isn’t too personal but I figured your insight would be…. Insightful. Is there anything you wish you’d done differently in the past that you think might have changed your current situation?
Answer: what i wouldve done differently? People in prison play this game all day. Wish i never started using xanax/anxiety meds. I shouldnt pin the blame on anything but myself for getting myself in this situation, but i probably wouldnt have ever seen the inside of a prison if not for that shit. Shouldve paid more attention to the important things in my life. Family, my girlfriend, school. Surrounded myself with Good People
What is your favorite book? I know our circumstances are worlds apart, but in certain areas I like to think I can relate to you. When I was in a residential treatment center for fifteen months, I retreated into my own head, and I guess the heads of authors and poets. Like I said, I am in no way saying that my experiences compare in any way to yours. I’m just wondering how you live, how you cope, and how you escape. Sorry I could’ve said this in a lot fewer words.
Answer: books. I love books. Top 3 – Siddhartha, Cosmos, Grapes of Wrath. I like Margret Atwood, Oscar Wilde, Lovecraft. Havent read much poetry though, had a Complete Works of EA Poe, and hes dope, but i need someone to lead me to new things with that particular genre. “how you live, how you cope, how you escape”, Reading, Writing, Sports. Also a lot of working out. In maximum security a lot of circles have mandatory workouts, so i do a lot of that. Reading i try sticking to the classics. Writing, i have no idea whatd i do without my sister, her finding all the penpals that i talk to is a blessing. Plus im getting to be a p good letter writer. And sports, I have my own personal tv in the cell, havent yet gotten into any particular shows just yet, but i watch ufc/basketball/football. Go Spurs
Do you prefer DC Comics or Marvel Comics more? Also, who’s your favorite superhero?
Answer: I hate Superman. Super generic and boring “oh hes strong and can fly”, so i like Marvel more. Batman is okay so im not completely knocking DC. Goku and Spawn my favorite superheroes. Always have been.
Have you ever liked someone so much it hurts? I’ve missed someone so much my chest and head hurt and I don’t know if that’s love or just being weird.
Answer: Thats totally Love. I dont know if youre asking b/c im in prison and you want a pov from a convict, or if its just a general question. Human beings will always yearn for love, no matter what their situation. Even the Elephant Man wanted a wife. So yes, i miss someone as bad as you described. Wish i didnt, because closure doesnt seem possible and it wont go away. Just glad i have a great family who has been amazing support.
What are your thoughts on the way prisons/criminals are portrayed in the media? Is it very different than what we are led to believe watching TV shows and movies? (Ps I hope you’re having a great day 🙂
Answer: Real prison isnt anything like movies/tv, obviously, i doubt anyone would think that. MSNbc is all day prison shows. Its like a guilty pleasure for people. On paper, crime is an entertaining concept, thats why CSI/LawandOrder, all that shit, are so popular. Always will be fascinating, so it doesnt matter what i think. Real prison is a lot more boring than you can imagine. sorta. Where im at is nicknamed ‘gladiator school’ and theres frequent fights. But you dont have to worry about getting beat up all the time. Theres a system of ‘politics’ here that makes it relatively calm. Only people who get beat up are snitches or weirdos or whatever. I can talk about the politics here forever, but i dont know how long i was supposed to make these answers, so once again, shameless plug – i mail back any and everyone who writes me. And if you havent got a reply, then something fucked up and just send me a note and ill rewrite my letter
Best piece of life advice
Answer: never take for granted what you have. Friends will come and go but family is forever. Always heard that but didnt see how true it is until i lost everything
As a kid, would you rather have been a firefighter or a professional baseball player?
Answer: so my sister does self-help/empowerment type stuff right? So will i be crucified if i say a baseball player. The more selfish answer. But you said as a kid, and i doubt a kid would put much stock into which one can save more lives, they just see the glamour of their rolemodels winning games and idolize them. Now id prefer to be a counselor or something. Before getting arrested i was gungho about being as good a salesman i can, but priorities change.
Talk about gender roles. How do you feel that they’ve affected you? How do you think they affected the people arond you? Would you get rid of them, if you could? Thanks. I hope you have a really nice day 😀
Answer: im naive when it comes to gender roles. Thats like, ‘genderfluid’ type stuff, right? So ill change your question to homosexuality in prisons, since that seems like a more fun question. Surprised i didnt get something like that. Destiny is probably leaving out all the risque ones. Not me, promise you that, but theres tons of gay people in here. They dont call themselves gay, but its there. Its adorable actually, you really do see True Love here. Then if the cops find out something is going on, they seperate the 2 soulmates (usually its some jealous dude who snitches on them). Actually, ‘Fag’ is the accepted term here. Even the gay guys call themselves fags, so i think its okay to say if its not considered offensive in the least bit? different culture. In seattle if you said that youd be run out of town, for good reason, its used as an insult. Here in max security that stuff is kept lowkey, but i hear in mediums theres transvestites everywhere (is that the proper term?)
What more can I do to try to help my brother with an addiction?
Answer: know what specifically hes going through. you cant talk to a heroin addict the same way youd talk to a meth/coke/ (or in my case) benzo addict. try to see why he uses, theres usually deeper reasons than ‘it feels good’. with uppers people refuse to quit a lot because they think it helps them in some ways. Opiates the withdrawl is scary and dependancy sneaks up on you. Its hard to answer this, i dont know what situation theyre in. Just try to be there for him and dont let him stagnate and turn to drugs because theres nothing else to do.
Answer: if you asked me this when i was 16 id have said American History X, Se7en, and Fight Club. The more i watch Fight Club the less i like it tho. Before getting arrested Id say any David Lynch or Woody Allen movie. Black Rainbow and Snow on the Bluff are dope. But Now? Anything they show on channel 73 that has nudity. ‘Species’ #1 movie of all time. Sorry for the uncultured answer, but do you blame me? Testosterone levels are critical.