So my name is India Porter. I’m currently incarcerated at Women’s Huron Valley correctional facility, and I’m in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
I have been incarcerated going on 19 years as of August. I was convicted in Wayne county for two counts of assault with intent to commit murder. And my sentencing guidelines were 9 to 23 years, and I received 23 to 40 years for my crime—the absolute maximum. And there wasn’t any sentencing enhancements or anything to cause for me to get the actual maximum sentence and same judge that sentence me, she was later convicted of bank fraud in 2012 and served 2 years in federal prison.
Ever since COVID happened, we are like, basically on lockdown status. So that means no school, no library, no law library, no church activities, no gym. So we’re basically forced to be in our cells a majority of the day. They have an alternative schedule where you can utilize the activity room, one wing for an hour, the next wing for another hour. And it’s a space limits, and like every day the officers come in and take [inaudible] away. So it, the capacity goes down like every day.
We’re not, allowed to go out to the big yard, like we only get to utilize the small yard, which is like really small compared to the amount of women are locked here. It’s like a really sad existence because you know, you don’t- we just existing. We have nothing to look forward to. Like people are just here doing time for what?
And it’s like a waste of taxpayer’s dollars when- if Michigan has some type of sentencing incentives where, you know, like we could possibly like get good time credits, it would like decrease the prison population tremendously, and it would not take away or demean, you know, what= I’m sure the community will want people getting good time for the behavior. And it’s like, we’re still serving our sentence at the same time, but it’s just corrections that makes sense.
And right now it’s just like basically a human warehousing facility. There’s no productivity. You know, I’m just seeing people lose hope. Like, how can someone who is sentenced to a life sentence, like, is this all you have to look forward to in your life? Like, so it’s just like really sad. I really think that because, you know, I don’t believe that, oh, “Everybody in prison should just be released.” I really believe like there should be like a system that makes sense as far as, you know, keeping people in prison for decades on end and the taxpayers are paying for it.
And it’s just like, how long does it take for somebody to be rehabilitated for somebody to have to sit in prison for 20 years. Like I would hope in a situation- a person put in a situation to be corrected after 20 years, if that person is not the same person then at some point, you should look at the system, which you are entrusting to make people better. And after 20 years, if somebody is not rehabilitated, then where is taxpayer’s dollars going?
I mean like, at the end of the day, I think the public should have a lot more say so as far as to how people- how long people are still incarcerated. And it’s just like, who are the public scared of and who are you mad at? I do need to be corrected. I’m not taking away from the fact that I did shoot two people, but for me to come here and to be here as long as I have been—and like, my crime is not a murder crime—like I’ve seen people who have actual have murder cases and they are like long gone home.
And the fact that I am still here under a sentence that was imposed by somebody who is a felon just like me—what’s different from her sentence to me and my peer? And the fact that there’s nothing that I can do about this sentence because it’s been made final by law and the person who gave me this sentence is not even allowed to practice on the bench anymore.
They can contact me at the facility. Women’s Huron Valley 3201 Bemis Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. And I can also email me at www.jpay.com. And I’ll also have a petition on change.org and a blog, and it’s freeindiaporter.blogspot.com.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio