Prison Radio
Joadanus Olivas

My name is Joadanus Olivas. I call this, “I’m Going to Break the Law.”

Everyone is profiting from my incarceration except me. You see, taxpayers pay $100,000 a year at the minimum to house me here. My existence in prison alone generates wealth. The extent of my mental health care [inaudible] generates wealth. The occupation that I have as a wheelchair pusher generates wealth.

I’m only paid $24 a month after the Restitution Fund because of my attempted murder charges at sixteen years old. How do I afford hygiene, clothes, Top Ramen, and the myriad of other needed material while I’m incarcerated. I’m poor. Our canteen/inmate grocery store has inflated pricing. I can’t afford the price it costs to survive a whole month. The $24 I’m paid monthly is not enough.

This penitentiary has the greatest profiteer scheme ever. I might as well mimic my oppressors and profit too. I mean, I should just break the law and sneak in a whole kilo of dope and make 1,000% profit and go around feeding other impoverished prisoners alongside of me.

We’re effing hungry. We don’t have outside support. We need proper shoes, better toothpaste, better deodorant. Look, I just got four cavities recently because I don’t have floss. Wow. I need grease. I’m black. I got dentures. I need a lawyer because I’m innocent. I got some stimulus checks, right? No, my mom spent all the money on her drug habit. I could have got a private investigator with that money, Mom, to get exonerated.

I don’t know what to do. Even this paper and pen that I’m using, guess what? I stole it. It costs. I can’t afford it. I stole this from the officer stationed here. I’ll risk my health and my freedom for these four minutes in chains. I need stamps to write pro-bono attorneys so that I could plead my case to them to try to get out. I’m about to break the law just to get by. I mean, the warden doesn’t care who’s profiting. That’s his satisfaction. I’m going to break the law just like him. Eff being mindful.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.