Prison Radio
Izell Robinson

Yes, this is Izell Robinson, Minnesota inmate number 21006, and that’s a man confined within a quadrilateral prison system of injustice, fighting to be heard, but I need you the listeners to hear me and act. I only want to be heard. Unfortunately, I find myself again, in this revolving door of the system.

I was out on parole, released from a 90 day violation in October, and I was only out two months, October, November and December 26, 27th. I was re-confined because I ended up being terminated from the housing that I was in. It was DLC housing and because I lost housing, they seen that as a violation of my parole, because I’m on some conditions called ISR, which is like Intensive Supervised Release. But I don’t understand how a person can be, you know, thrown in prison, not not even, you know, a county jail, or given an opportunity to go to a halfway house or anything like that, but, you know, thrown in prison for losing housing, you know, without committing a crime or doing anything illegal. And, you know, they recognize that.

So, they put me on a violation of zero to 90 days, saying that whenever I can acquire approved housing, within that zero to 90 days, I can be released. But the thing is, it’s up to me to try to find the housing while I’m here incarcerated in the prison where I have no access to internet, very few resources as regards to, you know, obtaining housing. Then, I have people, luckily. I have support still on the outside and family who’s been trying to help me, you know, acquire housing, but every time we give an address, it seems like to the parole agent I have, it’s up to her to approve my housing. And she seems like she’s not interested in trying to check into the place or approve the housing, as if she wants me to just, you know, kind of do the 90 days and then if I don’t have housing by that 90 days, then they extend me another 90 days with the same conditions of trying to find housing. I think that it’s a bad situation for anybody to be in.

They call it a technical violation, which is the same thing they had me re-confined on a violation before, for a technical violation. And these technical violations are, you know, things that aren’t crimes, but rules that they make up that, you know, they use to re-incarerate people to add to the recidivism rate here in Minnesota. And it goes against, you know, taxpayers dollars. And it goes against any type or form of rehabilitation, because when I was out, I was doing everything necessary to be employed. I was volunteering in the community, going to my church services every Sunday. I was participating in group therapy for PTSD and major depressive disorder and taking meds regularly. So, you know, everything that I can do to adjust into society in the community, I was doing. I was even looking for new housing, because I was I knew I was living in, you know, DLC, Department of Corrections housing, that they pay for, which had a time limit of 60 days. But, beyond that, I was doing everything I can, personally to, you know, reform myself and make something back, you know, for who I should be in society, and everything just seems to be working against you, when you’re in my position, and you’re on this ISR condition, which I don’t think they should have anybody on. I think it’s a joke. Just a way to constantly make the revolving door cycle, you know, because parole is parole, and it shouldn’t be a difference in any type of parole, especially when somebody like me, I’ve done my time, which was 11 years straight. And here, I get out; the first time I was only out for eight or nine months, and then now I was only out for two months before they put me back in for another 90 days. So this is the second 90 days, you know, I’ve been locked up for not even committing a crime or doing anything illegal

All we can do is just have faith, pray, I guess, hope that the system changes. Doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. But with that, I hope you took something from my words, and I appreciate Prison Radio for this much needed platform of linking individuals like me with their families and communities, you know, to be able to try to create or foster some type of positive change with this dialogue. Thank you.

These commentaries are recorded by in Prison Radio.