Prisoner of The Universe

  • by Don Collins


    Obstacles and turmoil will greet you at the prison gates.  While in the gated community you will succumb to demoralization and detachment from the once free society.  In the beginning it was a joyous birth of innocence with unlimited ideals and challenges.  Through growth and irrational behavior, through impulsive thoughts and aspirational belief of entitlement with hopes of escaping capture, brings a reality check.  Where are you now?


    Judge not for what was a criminal act.  It does not prove we are bad people.  Even the president said criminals deserve a second chance.  Some call it a mistake, or intentional.  In the end of a prison term, it is really called time served.  Punishment ends and re-entry starts.  People do change and become productive and contribute back into the community.


    Let this not blind you, for many incarcerated have questionable arrests and some should not gone through the justice system.  Yet others have a strategy that shines in no charges.


    Over 12 years I heard countless stories from inmates in six different facilities.  Here are their stories.


    ....A man is arrested for a $5.00 marijuana pipe and is give 5 years because it’s his third related drug offense.

    ...A man declined a offer of 2 years for obstructing an officer by giving false name and fled from vehicle as passenger.  After case law states passenger is not subject to the stop he has a right to flee.  Back in court with both case law and motion for new course.  The charge was dropped.  NOTE:  Since that case the law was changed in Illinois as to passenger rights.

    ....A man with mental issues was sentenced for shooting his father in the back.  On appeal he was released to house-arrest due to judicial misconduct when juror was told she could not go home to a verdict is reached.  The women, normally in bed at 8PM, was intimidated by making guilty plea at 1AM so she could go home.

    ....A man was served a warrant that included the kitchen.  Above the ceiling tiles a firearm was found.  I suggested the firearm was ‘above’ kitchen ceiling and in fact in attic floor of which firearm sat.  It cannot be evidence because the attic is not in the warrant.  Offered a plea deal from 14 years to 2 years because the man was patient.

    ....An over the road semi-driver pulled in a weigh-station and had truck door seal removed and contents searched, finding supply of cocaine.  On appeal the court considered the illegal search without a warrant or probable cause but rejected dismissal because justice may be served - huge drug bust and high profile capture.


    Whether loophole or good strategy, whether petty theft or first degree murder, nobody can be denied a plausible defense.


    After sentence comes the challenge for the state of the prisoner.  Once in the free world you had choices.  In prison you have do’s and dont’s.  You will show your anger and maybe some remorse.  Harsh living conditions and stress from others and unpredicted situations will keep you alert and guarded.  Remain observant and thrive under caution.  Be aware of trickery and bullying tactics.  Stay wise to friendship and hand-outs.  Pace silently in mind and let strength and intuition show you the path.  Prison knows no time or deadlines.  Stay neutral and let patience be your guide.


    Remember, your just passing thru, enemies you will make, friends are short lived.  Of isolation and after the silence of the night, we awaken not to be judgmental, for we are all prisoners of the universe.