June 16, 1999
- William C. Payton
"...but today, it is without exaggeration
to state that commonly it is becoming increasingly impossible for younger
prisoners to find their place within the panorama of life while in prison.
These young people are not locked up any longer for just a few years at
a time, but rather, for decades...entire lives. They spend this time in
places serving god-awful food now days, providing nearly no basic conditions
in which to evolve emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. In California,
this is induced by a ‘transfer" system, which is designed to keep prisoners
moving from one joint to another in order to quell any chance of gangs
developing strongholds, long term relationships with staff, and even local
outside contacts. The result to this is that one is kept moving with no
chance of settling in to do their time, and ultimately, to begin to look
within themselves. All their time is spent adapting, then readapting, et
"Point is, in the long term it is not
grit or violence which overcomes those harshly subjugated, but it is love.
Just as proven by the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s. Love, and its
call for egalitarian rights, overcame the violence thrust upon those of
color. Individually speaking, those who developed a sense of their spirituality
developed fulfilling lives in the midst of chaos; and as a whole, they
eventually overcame together the atrocities of a naive democratic system."