Put Up Or Shut Up

by A Concerned Prisoner PSCC


I sit here day after day with a release date beyond any reasonable life expectancy. During my decade of incarceration I've witnessed abuses and have been abused, had my rights trampled into the mud, lost more privileges than I knew could be taken, and suffered any number of other atrocities and oppressions at the hands of the Virginia Department of Corrections.


I sat here day in and day out for years listening to the tales of the atrocities others like me have suffered. And every day I hear some short timer, someone who goes home in a few months, or who will be released when the new goodtime law goes into effect whine about how bad prison life is, yet they balk at the prospect of prison reform activism, of working toward improving our conditions. Wake up! This is the price we all pay for your apathy and your sloth. And those of us who have no realistic light at the end of this dark tunnel have to pay for your apathy and sloth for decades yet to come, and someday when and if you come back to this place you'll have to pay for your apathy and sloth as well as that of others.


So when you want to whine about how bad you have it in prison, when you want to cry because the staff was mean to you, about how the food sucks, about how the guards took your porn, about how you didn't like the piss poor healthcare you received, about how the HVAC is always broken, or any number of other issues, remember that you can either use your voice to gripe and complain to your fellow prisoners and accomplish nothing more than being branded a crybaby, or you can put your voice to use for the greater good and speak up like a mature adult. Reach out to o your delegates. Reach out to your senators. Reach out to your family and friends. Reach out to advocacy groups. Do something with your voice other than crying about how being in prison sucks. Use your voice to improve conditions. Many hands make light work. Many voices make a powerful noise. Stop whining. Put up or shut up.

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