(As read by Deacon Ed Richards at the 2016 Diocesan Convention)
Prison is a place where the first prisoner you see looks like an all-American college boy . . . and you are surprised! Later you are disgusted because people on the outside still have the same prejudices about prisoners that you . . . used to have.
Prison is a place where you learn that nobody needs you . . . the world goes on without you.
Prison is a place where you can go for years without feeling the touch of a human hand, where you can go for months without hearing a kind word. It is a place where friendships are shallow . . . and you know it.
Prison is a place where you feel sorry for yourself, then you get disgusted for feeling sorry for yourself . . . then you get mad and disgusted.
Prison is a place where you lose respect for the law because you see it raw, naked, twisted, bent, ignored, and blown out of proportion to suit the people who enforce it.
Prison is a place where you forget the sound of a baby’s cry. You forget the sound of a dog’s bark or a cat’s meow.
Prison is a place where you see men you don’t admire . . . and wonder if you are like them? It’s a place where you strive to remain civilized . . . but lose ground and don’t realize it.
Prison is a place where you go to bed before you are tired . . . where you pull the blankets over your head when you are not cold. It is a place where you try to escape . . . by reading, playing cards, or by . . . going mad.
Prison is a place where you promise to become a better person. Some people succeed, some people fail . . . some don’t care.
Prison is a Place.
This poem was written by an inmate . . . somewhere.
This poem was given by an inmate to a prison Fellowship volunteer leading an anger management class in the hope it would give the volunteer “some” idea of what it is like for them who are seated in the class.