Prison Radio
Eddie Treadwell

Hello, this is Mr. Eddie Treadwell. Again calling from Brooks Correctional Facility here in Michigan, and I just wanted to speak briefly about elderly prisoners in Michigan prisons, as well as all prisons all over the United States actually. You know, it’s typical that elderly prisoners have a tendency to be assaulted, harassed, exploited by most younger prisoners. I’ve been incarcerated now for 33 years. I’m 58 years old. I haven’t had a misconduct in about five years, trying urgently to get out of prison. But you’re still in a prison system seeming to continuously fail, because it’s actually producing that which it’s trying to prevent, people with more of a criminal type of mind and attitude in prisons; a sense of hopelessness, and despair, you know. For a person in my position, who done everything that he could to try to stay away from conflict, problems, tickets, and all these various different pitfalls that prison has to offer.
Yet still, I end up running into a youngster thinking that he’s a young thug, killer, gang banger, whatever you want to classify yourself as. High off drugs, he wanted to try to run up on an older gentleman like me.

I just been hit in the mouth, knocked my teeth out and I had to beat the mess out of the lil’ youngster, which I hate. I hate that I had do it, but this is the situation. This is the life that we deal with in prison, older prisoners like me, who have just put in a commutation, just been denied my commutation again for the seventh time, trying to get out of prison. I haven’t caught no misconducts, no dangerous misconduct, dangerous contraband or disobeying direct orders, out of place and no other type of misconduct other than me having to defend myself in prison. And I think prison needs to be more- to try to accommodate the elderly prisoners in a transformation towards leaving out of prison. Help them reintegrate back into the community as opposed to have them surrounded by a whole bunch of youngsters, who’ve just come to prison who have nothing to lose.

I got everything to lose. I got 10 years of disciplinary credits I can get back. That’s like a whole sentence within itself. When I was younger, I used to cancel out of tickets, you know, so I end up losing my good time, my disciplinary credits. Now in my older years, I’ve been trying to go, do the right thing to get out of prison, to get some of them disciplinary credits back so I can be leaving prison in an earlier time period. But it’s difficult, because all the youngsters, they got the chest stuck out, it’s no structure in prison. No direction, they have no sense of purpose or respect, for the most part, for the elderly. So, I’m assuming, I’m just saying this to make people aware of the plight that people have to go through in prison after you done been here 20, 30, 40 years, you know. It’s not getting easier, it’s getting more difficult.

We have to relieve some of the taxpayers of all the taxpayer dollars that they spent annually on prisons, in the United States. We need to create a better system to get a better outcome, is to have people get more enthused about transforming themselves into a more a model type of citizen once they reintegrate back into the community so they can be a benefit and asset to families and the community in which they live. So basically, that’s what I wanted to talk about a little bit today, to get people to understand that it’s like a sense of urgency for me to do the right thing. All my family members that’s passed form, that died away; I’m the only one left and I’m trying with all my strength and all my might (???) to get out of prison before I pass form and die inside of the institution, but it’s difficult.

I think the governor and the legislators need to take more of a look at elderly prisoners who are actually trying to get out of prison, when it’s being hindered by the conditions of the prison system. They need to be restructured, overhauled, restructured, reformed, and everything else to make it more of an ideal place where people can actually learn and gain something where they can be more of an asset when they get out of prison, opposed to being a mean spirited type of individual with a hopelessness, a strong sense of hopelessness, and a disregard for authority and police and (everybody else wants to get out of prison.) So we need to try to teach and be a more type of attitude with a strong sense of purpose as individuals who are incarcerated, because the majority of people getting out of prison sooner or later. Everybody’s not staying here forever. So I guess my time is up. And you have a wonderful day. My name is Eddie Treadwell, 205017 in the Michigan Department of Corrections at Brooks Correctional Facility. If anybody have any questions or would like to assist me in any type of way to try to help change the structure of the prison system, please contact me. JPay or snail mail. Thank you. Have a wonderful day.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.