Prisoners here in Michigan – moreso, it’s not all, you know it’s never all, it’s always a few, some, or many – but I’ve ran across a few men in prison who were ready to be released from prison after serving 20, 30, 40 years. You know, and this is what they live for, to be released. This is what they try to help show the best part of themselves to other prisoners and officers while they incarcerated, to try to be the best that they can be. It show they have been – show that they have been truly transformed from the individual that they were when they came to prison, to a new-and-improved individual now.
Crime, for instance, is moreso predicated upon a lack of education, drug addiction, and poverty. Right? And if some of these issues could be addressed within the communities, then maybe people wouldn’t commit as many crimes. Because they have jobs, they will have a opportunity to have a well-paying job where they can take care of they family, where they can support they children, where they can take care of themselves. And this instill a high sense of respect and confidence within the individual. You know what I’m saying? And understand and recognize that he’s worthy, he’s worth something. You know what I’m saying? He’s a value to his family. He’s a benefit. You know, instead of scraping and scratching, trying to figure out how he go get his next meal. You know, then to ultimately return – turn to drugs and create another habit trying to escape from the sad reality of poverty within the communities in which we was raised, right?
It wasn’t a accident that we was put in these urban areas where the housing is tore down. You know, we come from a ran-down community to a state-of-the-art prison system. Alright? So it’s a lot of work that need to be done, right? And where else is it a better place to start than in a state like Michigan, where it’s that we have all these organizations and groups who are now being a part of this great change, right? So it’s, it’s interesting that, you know, more than – I say – six other states here in Michigan and the United States is lacking any form of some form of good time credits. Michigan is one of them. Michigan citizens is ready. Michigan prisoners is ready. The only thing, see, we not lacking in ideas, you know, we lacking in collectivity, the ability to come together when there’s opportunity to make some great changes here in the state. See, so it’s not that much work to be done. All we need is people to come out, come forward, and help support this cause here in Michigan prison system. You know, to help transform this system from a old, outdated – from old, outdated laws, to new-and-improved laws that’s based upon facts, you know? And apply that which work, that have been proven to work, right? Such as providing initiatives and various different type of programming.
Long-term program have more an effect than short-term programming. People in prison here in Michigan spend 10, 15 years in prison and don’t have a opportunity to participate in any type of programming until they come to be a year or two to they out dates. Then, they allow them to take various different type of classes. But what about the other 7, 8, 9 years in prison doing nothing? You know, a idle mind come to be the devil’s workshop. So I think that prisoners need to start right out the gate in trying to transform themselves upon their inception into the prison system, until it’s time for them to depart from the prison system. They time should be well spent in prison and not time wasted. You know, we have to use every day of our lives like it’s our last. We got to use our days wisely, we can’t afford to throw them away, you know. I’ve been in prison for 32 years and all of my family members has passed away. Mother, father, sister, brother, and many cousins, right? So I’m here on my own, basically striving and trying to be a asset and a benefit to the people. You know, worth a life of ’em. Say, man live not unto himself, you know, for every living thing is bound by a cord to every other living thing. You know, we should not live as long as we want, but as long as we ought, as long as our life could be of assistance to others. So I feel that it’s my purpose to be of assistance and a benefit to others, to be a part of the great changes that’s taking place here in Michigan prison system.
You know, and I would like for all you who hear this interview come join, be a part of this great movement of transforming Michigan prison system to that which work, and not the old, outdated system that we’ve been used to in the past, simply warehousing our citizens. It’s deep. And this is not the only state. It’s mostly all states in the United States have the same type of problem. But other states provide at least prisoners with some form of good time credits, sentence reduction credits, you know? But Michigan is “tough on crime.” They want to appear to be tough on crime, you know? They want to keep all the young men imprisoned forever.
It’s like back in the day, when they say that [Herod] tried to kill all – kill off all the firstborn men, because he was fearful that they was gon’ become a coming king, you know, to bring the people out of the dark ages into the light: the light of truth, the light of the one God, right? So, in essence, the prison system nowadays has taken off the street all of the men. You know what I’m saying? And keeping them incarcerated because we have great potential inside of us. But we don’t have the ability a lot of the times to utilize and express this potential because we’ve been caught up, the influences of the world have had the tendency to overpower the will of the people. And the people is influenced by they environment, they come to be a product of they environment, and led towards the prison system or to a early grave. So now that we are in prison and off drugs and have a ability to think moreso, now they say those who reach the lower depths gain the highest heights. So now, once we done reached the lowest depths within ourselves and now we bringing out the best that we have within us. And that’s the ability to contribute and be a part of the coming of the change here in Michigan prison system and in the world.
So with that, I leave you as I came, until next time. Eddie Treadwell, 205017, Alger Correctional Facility, here in Michigan prison system, who are crying and pleading for assistance to all those who have ears to hear. All those who heard me, I salute you. And all those that didn’t, I guess, as you were.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.