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Prison Reform Rally 1/20/18: Prisoner statement on Youth and Incarceration

Personal Statement: "Personal Observation" What's the penal system doing to our Commonwealth's communities? In the past 10 yrs I've observed all types of potential All American youth fall, vulnerable to many hate & terror groups & organizations. Much more than I ever noticed in the past. I wonder why every one of these people would hate to the extent of extremes. Throughout the 50's & 60's I watched angry people from all type & walks of life hate fruitlessly, but the Generation x, generation Y, as well as, today's 1st graders & teenagers, seemed to represent such a different parallel. They have been & are so mixed in culture, color, ethnicity, likes, etc.. that U wouldn't just expect to see them as vulnerable to propagandist movement & terror pools. Well, recently someone pointed to our prisons as being breeding grounds for our Commonwealth Amerikan nightmare. So right they are. Prisoners in VA are being warehouses for grossly excessive amounts of time, in a manner that is producing bitterness among the prisoner population, & then they are being released straight out here among us. I spoke to a mother of a prisoner convicted of a nonviolent drug offence, who serves 19 yrs of a 24 year & 6 Months nonviolent drug sentence. He's been incarcerated since the 90's on the drug case. She explained to me that all of the institution were nearly 3 hrs away from her residence in northern Va, so its difficult to get out to visit him. As I checked the locations I noticed that all of the institutions he'd been housed on were all high level institutions. Why is a nonviolent drug offender being housed with the most notorious, & considered dangerous, criminals by society, for over 19 years? My curiosity led me to the particular offeder with inquisitive thoughts. I was given a copy of the governing laws of infractions, which is called the DOP 861.1, I was also introduced to the governing legislation over the classification of the prisoner, called the DOP 830. The class levels deal with receiving less days on the sentence, & the security levels deal with the placement & management of the offender. When I did the current computation for his sentence, it made no sense to what the DOC was doing. The prisoner had 2 points for security level points, which meant that according to the governing classification rules, he was meeting the criteria to be on a road camp-lv 1- institution (a road gang). So why was he at a level 4 (maximum controlled movement ) security level institution, my inquiring mind wanted to know? After more prying, it was revealed to me that he had incurred 2 infractions within the past year for being in an unauthorized area a 229 in the DOP 861.1 law-not a serious infraction. Just for being 25 feet from his pod area in front of another pod speaking to someone & being in some else's doorway for speaking to them. I called the classification services in Richmond. I inquired to why they would feel the necessity for this offender to be so far removed from where he's scored & should be classified, for infractions that are petty & small? The offender pointed me to two other offenders, both had been sent to level 4 maximum security prisons, one for a 103 inciting a riot for asking a question about others. The other for a 138 breaching the security perimeter & a 122e distribution of an illegal substance. This particular individual was convicted in the institutional hearing (kangaroo court) with absolutely no physical evidence & with no regard for due process of the legislative laws of the DOP 861.1 put in place to govern the discipline. The authorities, not only had no physical evidence to convict, but they broke mandatory regulations along the way towards of convicting him, that after reading the infraction Disciplinary Offenses Report & his appeal to the Warden I was convinced that nepotism was ever present. Point being there are individuals that sit in prison get bitter, learning to hate society, learning to hate authority, learning to be more crafty in criminalism, then get released to society. For the offenders who have been incarcerated for over half their life on nonviolent drug charges they have never held real jobs, or have never really learned real skill sets, just bred to be older & bitter. & their family he once knew has evolved away from him. The rest passes on, disappeared, & have turned elderly What does the Commonwealth expect from here & them like him? They are our real live nightmare. Whose going to be held responsible for the forgotten family? I know inside the most secretive mindset (the ones we don't encounter everyday): the offender wants to get paid, get rich quick, gain success now & probably right now, but who trained them? I don't want to go to my neighborhood ATM & get smacked up beside the head by a bitter ex felon who just served 20 yrs on a 5 year sentence type crime feeling that he's lost everything & not caring anymore. Or the bitter exfelon who hasn't had sex in 20 yrs grabs my innocent daughter in an alleyway. Or a exfelon who becomes sympathetic for a hate group. Because we are failing them. This includes going in a mall where an assault rifle could be pointed at me or my family, or in the parking lot at a concert a homemade bomb explodes in my vicinity. Or even to a felon who lost every family member while in here. Being in here so long makes U question the nightmare we encounter everyday. The wrong mindset can be nurtured & formulated because let's be honest we stopped caring about out convicted prisoners. We got to do better. To end mass incarceration.

signed Derek Horton

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