This is just a quick little bit I wrote up while on the subject of jail. I figured I’d touch base just on my experience in my beginnings of the system, and how the legal side operates.
So aside from jail being an already horrible place to be stuck inside of, the entire system that it revolves around is completely fucked up just as well which in turn I think has an effect throughout the entire spectrum of the system which is really the seed of the instability we see everywhere. This is supposed to be where people who are “innocent until proven guilty” are held. Inmate’s are either awaiting trial or have been sentenced for short periods by the state for minor shit like not paying traffic tickets or screwing up on probation. There’s also the large majority who get booked-in, and have high bails & can’t bond out of jail so they sit for sometimes months at a time just to go before a judge. You’re presented a plea bargain by the state where you have the option of admitting complete guilt to your crime & are offered a suspended/deferred sentence, and a get-out-of-jail card. This is the insanity of the system. This is where thousands of people succumbed to the horrors of jail being taken away from your family, and probably losing your job- are faced with the opportunity of denying their constitutional rights to a trial.
“So what about those who are innocent? Meh!! Argument is null! Nothing to see here folks!……Just a bunch of poor, broke idiots who could NEVER be innocent, right?”
Sorry that was my attempt at sarcasm. So my point is, a large portion of people who actually have a chance at beating their case because they didn’t actually commit that crime end up just shrugging & taking the plea deal. They’re thinking “Well its just probation. And I get out of jail today?!” These are everyday people who miss their families, and have an actual life outside of these cages who just want to get home. If you cannot afford a lawyer you receive a public defender who is always so damn busy that they barely get a chance to meet with you. Ive seen people go months without seeing their attorney sitting in jail with no one on the outside they can get ahold of to find out about their case so theyre stuck in limbo until they get an answer. Often time’s if the jail is ran like this one in particular that I’m referring to, the guards fucking suck & will at times ignore your request’s for things like information on your case. I’ve even see people wait for months only to meet their attorney on their day of court 5 minutes before their due before the judge. But it’s also exactly what happened to me…….
I had been in for several months. I would talk about taking my case to trail constantly over the phones(which they monitor/record). From the end of the first month when I was due in court for the very first time they continued it off for another month, then again & again…..3 months past, still no court, still haven’t seen my public defender. What the fuck right? That’s how the system plays the game. Then once you’re distraught from the wait you finally go to court which is one hell of a fucking fiasco. Hundreds of inmates chained together, thrown into holding cells cramped so bad you’re literally body to body piled up, nutts to ass crammed. Everyone stinks, it’s hot & its musty. It’s fucking hell. So you’re jam-packed with tons of other inmate in these tiny holding cells where you wait for hours before the vans come to run you down to the courthouse from the jail. Finally after a very claustrophobic-ass ride, and waiting several hours just to be put in said van, you’re taken into the holding cells in the basement under the court building. The tanks in here are a little more spacious. Hours pass, and inmates are called on individually to go see the judge. It was just 30 minutes before 5pm which is when court ends. I thought “Oh here we go, another continuance. Another month stuck in this fucking shit hole.” then my name was called. “Finally!!” I thought half scared to death/half excited to finally get something in motion!
The lawyer has me sit down. It’s a young woman which I thought was weird because I’d received one statement in the mail from my PD while sitting in jail stating he was my attorney so this couldn’t be him? She says “Hello Mr. Opiate Junkie, I’m your attorneys assistant. He’s out sick so I had to fill in & I just got the last few minutes to look over your casework for the first time.” I didn’t say anything. I just nodded my head with utter despair. Like holy shit?? It’s so bad that my attorney who I’m supposed to lean on for all the legal jargon guidance they can muster and she doesn’t even know my goddamn case let alone she’s not even my actual fucking attorney! She laid out a fuck-ton of documents. It was so tantalizing. Here were all these documents, and I’m just shook with nerves. The assistant-attorney goes on to tell me I’d been offered a few years probationary sentence with some fee’s, and classes I had to take. I would get out of jail that day. With a child already, and another on the way what would come to your mind?
I took the deal, and it was the worst mistake of my life. The probation structure has been a nightmare upon itself. First & foremost I’d be pushed back out of jail without a job, and a fresh new label I’ve been stamped with that I didn’t really imagine or contemplate how much it would affect my life. I was quickly brought before the judge after very hastily accepting the plea offer & signing the documents. In that moment of signing these papers everything had felt so tense. A lot of nerves were firing off, and I was in a complete fog of anticipation that when hearing I’d get out of jail THAT day I had my mind made up already. We only had minutes until court was over with for the day, and my little assistant defender ever reminded me to make my choice fast because we only had a few moments. If I didn’t decide quick enough then my court date would have probably been postponed for another month again. The system is so backed up with cases that they rarely schedule anything quickly. Basically I felt pushed into it without the time or chance to really reflect on all aspects of what I was doing…..
Probation alone isn’t easy, but when you’re an addict like me who has a life that can dive into chaos fairly quick its almost impossible to sustain. In all my years of addiction which is around 8 years since I was technically dependent on opiates after being strewn through the legal system my life had spun out of control much worse than it had ever before. The pressure that comes with those obligations when you’re pretty much kicked to the gutter with only the clothes on your back after literally everything is lost due to incarceration. There are only so many avenues of hope that arise from these situations. The main focus I’m trying to convey to all of you who read this is this isn’t just happening to me. This happens everyday in court rooms all across America. Everyday citizens, even those who aren’t strung out junkies like me, are having their personal rights stripped from them & are being basically coerced into signing their lives away. We need more awareness on such subjects.
Lady Liberty is blind for a reason folks….She doesn’t want to see the unbalanced corrupt system in front of her. My point here that maybe I didn’t quite touch base on all aspects, is this entire thing is essentially ran on nothing but money, and no moral sense of justice anywhere. The highest bidder has the easiest dealing with the machine. A rich guilty man is going to have a lot smoother of a time being fed into the jaws of the system than a broke innocent man whose just gonna get chewed up and spit right back out only to be fed back into it over and over again. Are you loaded with dough? Get in trouble? Hire a fancy lawyer who will run into the DA(Someone he has a good relationship with)prosecuting your case in the elevator, and he’ll offer him/her to a game of golf or a steak dinner to get a reduced sentence for his client.
Merica’ Where we have 25% of the worlds prison population. More incarcerated than any other country COMBINED. And this is the land of the free? Our system is just a sugarcoat for modern-day slavery. It isn’t slavery in a racial sense anymore. It’s the slavery of the lower-class. Class warfare being waged, and not an ounce of its people even slightly aware.