The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

Prison Industrial Complex, Part 3……….What Does Criminal Justice Reform Really Mean

on May 8, 2015

This week as I sat around at the Federal Prison Camp watching the NEWS and listening to the current Politically motivated jargon regarding Criminal Justice Reform from our current Presidential candidates, and other politically influenced individuals, I could not help but ask my favorite questions, “WTH?! and Is this real life?!”. To many of our Politicians, the words Criminal Justice Reform is currently a major talking point for gaining popularity and future votes. Seriously, I know that the average hard-working, voting, American citizen does not really have time to critically analyze or debate the semantics that are pushed on them by Politicians and lobbyists in regards to Criminal Justice Reform. I get that, I know what it all entails when you are busy living life to the fullest, well I faintly remember (lol). Years ago, prior to becoming involved with the Federal Criminal Justice System, I did have a productive, successful, happy and loving way of living. Now as an imprisoned soul sitting in the “belly of he beast” the term Criminal Justice Reform as defined and discussed by our current Political leaders simply translates, to me, as a fancy way of “shifting the blame”. Instead of discussions that focus on making changes to the systemic oppressive structure, the conversations continue to be controlled by fear and motivated by needs of the lobbyist and fiscally motivated corporations who have maintained their American Dream off the backs of the imprisoned souls (citizens). If there are no clear and concise discussions about closing prisons or de-carceration of human beings, then we are not truly participating in real reform efforts, we as a Nation are only saying, “Okay, folks we have oppressed, suppressed and legally enslaved certain segments of our population long enough and now it is someone else’s turn”. As a black, woman and mother who understands this process and all of the social ills it causes for the human soul, the lack of courage to make some real lasting changes is very scary to me. I for one know for sure that we, Americans have a tendency of repeating ourselves and I am afraid that if we do not make courageous efforts to abolish this Criminal justice System as it stands, once again poor, vulnerable folks are going to be having the same exact discussions in the coming years.

     I know that there is a certain level of complacency that occurs when it comes to speaking about real reform efforts and the power that the Prison Industrial Complex encompasses. But when people like myself, who have been rendered silent or not viewed as credible witnesses to the atrocious nature of our Criminal justice process because we have, in the eyes of other fallible human souls, broke the law, do not have the right to participate actively in the discussions regarding change or the democratic process, the conversations are going to be limited and change/reform will simply mean, we will have to fill the prisons and jails with someone else for a while! The honest truth is that we need to abolish our current Criminal Justice process as it stands. We must start over and boldly look at the purpose of incarceration of non violent individuals. It is also imperative that we expose and eliminate the financial gains that many business organizations benefit from locking up citizens. Then we will began to have some critical planning that will entail providing justice for all of our citizens and still keep our communities safe. Just as the current administration felt that it was imperative to revamp the United States Health Care System, the same process needs to occur within our current Criminal Justice System. The implementation of Obamacare proves that WE can make any changes we deem necessary if we are motivated to do so with a sense of urgency, passion and a desire for a long term legacy.

For those of you who are connected to me and are participating in the democratic process, all I am asking from you all is that you be critical of what Politicians are saying on the local and National level. We have to become alert and aware participants if we are any way tethered to being “helpers” in our communities and families.

I am thankful that this part of the process is nearly over for me. I have to honestly admit that I am not fully convinced that there is a real commitment to Criminal justice reform because we are still building prisons and jails and incarcerating non violent people daily. There is only discussions that entail going after other “low hanging fruit” to entrench into this Criminal justice process so that we increase the number of disenfranchised citizens and render them as spectators while others have real access to “The American Dream”. Our criminal code is so extensive that even law makers are getting trapped by the same laws they once voted for without clearly understanding the ramifications of such obscure and limiting policies. Something has got to change and it needs to happen soon.

I am forever grateful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. I remind myself of that daily so that I remember that I was raised by grandparents who worked and lived with pride, love and found joy in America despite everything they had endured. Because of them I will continue to be “Beyond Resilient” as I move forward in my life and provide a model for my family to follow, especially my son.

The journey continues………………………………………………felonious phd 5/2015

9 responses to “Prison Industrial Complex, Part 3……….What Does Criminal Justice Reform Really Mean

  1. sonniq says:

    Oh! I like you! I couldn’t have written that any better myself!! But you have lived this. I had to learn by working with Jamie Cummings and all the crap that has been thrown at him the past ten years, with 7 to go, because sadly, Texas does not parole black men, at least none he’s ever known of. The son he has never held will be 17 when he gets out. These issues are important to me. I’d like to give your blog a link on mine and talk to you about possibly doing a guest post on your experience.

  2. sonniq says:

    BOP? Is that parole? A blog talk would be interesting. I’d be interested.

    • Oh sorry I did receive it.

    • Bureau of prisons. No they don’t have parole for federal offenders. On March 5 I will be on supervised release for 3 years. Another pipeline for people to return to prison. It is probation. I have a written order from my judge that makes it possible for mine to just last a year if I don’t have any problems. Lol. Which I never have in the past but I don’t say never more lol.

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