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The Struggles of Re-Entry

When a prisoner achieves the goal of reforming himself, and he strives to help others to do the same, he is faced with great opposition from the very same ones who are charged with the responsibility of helping him to become a better person while in the Department of Corrections. For this reason many do not speak out because they fear reprisal from the Administration. This is where the sacrifice must come in. Some of us have to be persecuted to show the world so that justice can prevail.

The Department of Corrections is full of those who do not believe in reformation. Those who believe that punishment in the the form of locking us up and throwing away the key is the cure for criminality. As a mentor in the Reentry Community of Augusta I have witnessed those who despise our efforts to become better. I was told by an elder and fellow law clerk by the name of Johnny Nelson that "We are their meal ticket. Without us they have no jobs. So when you start to talk that productive citizen talk, that free your mind talk, that stop recidivism talk, we create enemies from amongst those that make a living and thrive off of us coming to prison." 

I have personally seen generations of correctional officers working in prisons. Grandmother, Daughter, Granddaughter