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Endurance

October 12, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Every year as soon as my calendar’s page is flipped to the month of August, I feel a tinge of anxiety creeping up in the pit of my stomach. You see, August marks the anniversary of my arrival in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) some 16 years ago.

Sitting by my slim plexiglass window at midnight, looking out at the dark cloudy sky alone, I find myself searching for my friends, my favorite stars. Over some years now, they have been my silent and loyal companions. Although the clouds have ruined quite a few meetings but it’s all right, I enjoy them too. They sort of provide a veil to my sorrow and add to the melancholy ambiance.

Then it happens, as if in a trance, the clouds seem to open and I can see that day as vividly as I can see the stars glinting through the cloak of haze. I can still see that young Tariq entering inside these thick castle walls; a young man who couldn’t even begin to understand the depth of this incessant vacuity. A place that is a bit more than just a never ending lesson in evil, prejudice, and despair.

An utter torment!

Prison environment is fueled by hate, open racism, and blatant bigotry among other reprobate vices. But when it comes to torture, not a day goes by that I don’t get to realize that it can get worse.

My saga began in October, 2002, in the county jail where I first got introduced to select catch phrases for a Muslim captive in America. I guess the events of 9-11 provided a Carte Blanche to the jailers towards someone who represented the physical traits and ancestral links to the perceived “enemy”.

Yet, I endured.

In 2005, after losing trial, my first stop during my transfer to NJSP was at the ‘Central Receiving Facility’ called “CRAF””. I heard his voice while being stripped after getting off the NJDOC transportation bus, AKA the “Blue Bird”:

“That’s him!”
“Oh yeah, you sure though, cause he looks like he’s Spanish or something.”
“Nah, that’s him. I bet you. He is the ‘real-deal’. I can spot them good.”
“Fuck him. Fuck’em all. He is here now.”
[Laughter]

Upon hearing their manifest racist rant, I can’t properly share in words what I felt in that vulnerable moment. You see, getting stripped is probably the most humiliating thing a human being encounters in prison. An exercise devised specifically to dehumanize, a gift of the western society, an ode to its inglorious days of slavery.

With modern day technology, especially with full body scanners at the airports in mind, I don’t understand why human beings still have to be stripped as animals.

Anyhow, later on, I saw the ‘one’ who could “spot” me “good” and was rather enticed by my arrival. He was standing next to the property desk waiting with my Qur’an in his hand, which had taken liberty to leaf through intensely as if it was something”dangerous”:

“You … where the fuck are you from?
“Here,” I answered.
“Fuck that, where are you really from?”
“Lived in New York before that.”
“No, motherfucker, you know what I’m saying. You got ‘this’ [Qur’an] in your property. You ain’t from New York.”

I just looked at him. I wanted to say a few things, but after almost three years in county jail I knew well enough what will take place had I shared my ‘feelings’ with him. So, he stood there smirking that smirk.

Yet, I endured.

My first day in NJSP was memorable as well. Once again, after getting disrobed the umpteenth time, I was taken to the infamous “6 Wing”, where I was temporarily housed in a cell on the bottoms tier. The room was probably 6*6*7, walls of metal, with a literal ‘hole-in-the-wall’ type toilet, and a cell door that was made of iron bars. It was a claustrophobic grave-like feeling as there were no windows in the cell. And without any fans the humid August heat was beyond intolerable.

It reminded me of a dog shelter I visited where I saw a large Rottweiler locked up in a similar small cage with bars for a door, only if I could whimper.

Yet, I endured.

Upon my arrival, within the first half hour multiple corrections officers, referred to as “C.O.s”, started to come and peek into my cell looking for a “real terrorist”. Being looked at through the bars reminded me of that dog, and I finally learnt the perspective of that poor animal.

Anyways, after a while, a Sergeant came and put an end to the “viewing”.

What started that day has morphed into a norm over the past sixteen years or so. Almost everyday of my life in here, I have heard things like, “Osama, you are going to die here motherfucker.” “Why did you guys do it?” “Watch that motherfucker. They love blowing shit up.” “What was your job that [9-11] day?” “Check his shoes real good. They just caught his cousin on the plane with a shoe bomb.” “So, in your country do they shout Allah-Akbar all day?” “How many of the terrorist do you know?” “How many family members you got in the Taliban?” “Taliban!” “Isis!” “Your ethnicity doesn’t help.” [A reason given to me by a Sergeant for repeatedly singling me out for searches called “Shake-Downs”] And, “C’mon man, you know you guys prefer this way.” – [An officer mimicked pulling a string, a not-so-subtle hint towards a suicide bomber] Etc.

Yet, I endured

Without any real oversight, NJDOC officers have unchecked authority over prisoners. Among them, it is somehow understood that it is an accepted behavior to make such comments, an exercise in jest so to speak.

At times, when I hesitantly complain, I am told that I am being too sensitive. But, to be sure, if any one of the earlier mentioned remarks was uttered in a corporate setting or for that matter to even a civilian or custody employee of the State of New Jersey, it would lead to termination and lawsuits galore. But, to a prisoner, a convicted felon, the scum of the earth, it is all kosher.

Yet, I endure.

Every year at a similar midnight, I ask The Almighty to let this be the last year of my captivity. Over the years my alienation has grown steadily. With the current state of our politics and the incompressible ‘Blue Wall’ and its supporters in the Judicial System, media, and political arenas, I am often reminded that prison is place yet darker still. And before and after conviction means a status even lower on the scales of humanity, something just above the border of animal and beastly existence; a rather oscillating boundary between the realms.

Then, as always, in the midst of my despondency my twinkling friends come to my rescue with a joyful smile and a promise of a better day to come. They remind me of the Mercy of GOD Almighty. I then pray, hope, and yearn to receive it.

Till that day, I shall endure.

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Say Her Name

October 1, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

I laughed out loud watching Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron on TV as he announced the Grand Jury’s decision in NOT indicting the three Louisville police officers that had entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment, and shot her to death firing six bullets into her body.

I laughed because the whole thing seemed comical to me. You know the whole charade of “justice” and “search of facts” and “not emotions” masquerade that the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s highest law enforcement officer belched out on the national media. A ‘Top-Cop’ who happens to be black, and was ‘by chance’ selected to speak at the recent RNC Convention. He skillfully overlaid the dirty underbelly of the American Justice System. In doing so, he affirmed the two different and distinct methods of applying the laws, one way for the law enforcement, and the other for black, brown, minorities and similar unfortunates.

The Kentucky A.G., also quite masterfully, went on to actually praise the law enforcement while at the same time lectured the protestors and the so called “outsiders” on civics.

For Breonna Taylor’s family, his message was crystal clear, ‘nothing to see here folks, the shooting of your daughter was justified!

I laughed, and shook my head.

The whole sham of it makes me laugh, as I am wiser over the years. I have seen the reality of pain, sorrow, and disappointment. Knowing and experiencing so much hardship and rigors through the gnawing grind of the American Justice System, it has all become easy for me. I am an expert at such hypocrisies and adept at tragedies.

Because, in the end, that is what comedy is all about: Tragedy over time!

During his long press conference, A.G. Daniel Cameron kept on insisting that he was driven by facts and that he kept emotions out of it. Yet, his colloquy reminded me of something that Maya Angelou once said, that “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.”

Truth of the matter is that ‘facts’ can be manipulated, and it is often the case when police officers are involved in any sort of wrongdoing. Because, when it comes to the law enforcement, all bets are off, and they are given every possible avenue and benefit that the law can possibly require, or aspire. For others, well, they are referred to as “others” for a reason!

I still remember vividly, after receiving my Grand Jury transcripts, I sat on my bunk in the cell on the infamous “D-Block”, D5W, of the Hudson County Correctional Facility, thinking is this a joke. The prosecutor had presented “select” items to my Grand Jury while eliminating anything that could remotely be considered mitigating. I was dumbfounded. Because a whole lot of it was pure fabrication and lies by officers of law who apparently took oaths before the jury members and then went on to falsely testify.

I protested to my attorney, requested, and begged her to challenge the indictment. In response she told me that “we will fight at trial” and that the “Grand Jury stuff is useless”, it doesn’t matter because “they can indict a ham sandwich if they wanted to.”

True indeed! A.G. Cameron could also have indicted the three officers involved in Breonna’s death; But Top-Cops don’t go after their own ‘hams’.

The Grand Jury process in the United States is a mockery and travesty of justice. You see in these “closed doors” and “secret” proceedings, the prosecutor can present anything that he sees fit. They are literally allowed to cherry-pick evidence and narrative of their own choosing.

Daniel Cameron’s discarding the testimony of Breonna’s immediate neighbour’s testimony, and the corroborating statements of other witnesses, and his reliance on the account of a single “White” witness’s account, which he provided after two previous contradicting statements, speaks volumes about Cameron’s intentions.

I can go on and on about this present episode of injustice, but I shall digress. My only message to Mr. Daniel Cameron and men of his ilk is simple, you can put all the lipstick on a pig, at the end it will remain what it is, a pig!

I often find people confused about the subject of Criminal Justice and Policing Reforms. I believe the problem is that our society as a whole has sort of subcontracted our conscience and objectivity when it comes to minorities. You see, it seems that our conscience and objectivity only comes alive when a police officer is involved in an incident such as Breonna’s death. All care is poured into his defense and then the public is reassured that all is well and that the “system” is working. My question to the ‘confused’ is very simple, if the system only works for the select few with badges and fails the millions who are behind bars, then what sort of a problem do you see afoot?

Kentucky’s A.G., Daniel Cameron, ended his press conference with the plain words, “God Bless”. I was stunned by his humbug righteousness. This man who stood before the national media being pejorative, and maligning people who are simply trying to raise issues of Social Justice, couldn’t see through his own sanctimonious bull-crap. And couldn’t bring himself to just say her name: BREONNA!

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Heartache of a Clown

September 19, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Paul “Goo-Goo” Williams # 000224338A | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

I laugh day after day
Laughing makes time pass away

I laugh from six to nine and nine to nine
Laughing sleep away as I purse my line

I laugh so hard, and yet, so low,
I could hear the silent within, and cold winds blow

I could hear the lions roar, the sounds of birds
And the cries of people behind closed doors

Weariness captures my verbal sounds
While I reveal the story of “Heartache of a Clown”

I who was tried for a homicide and possession of a knife
Was convicted and sentenced, now opposed by life

The conscious story from the inner mind
Reveals the true story of why I’m doing time

Now I sit and laugh sadness away
Yet, trying to forget, tomorrow is another day

I even laugh at the sight of death
I laugh so hard, I barely catch my breath

I laugh with a laugh, and laugh with a growl,
Yet, you never see me without a grin or a smile

I laugh even when I should be sad
It isn’t my intention, but merely my fad

I even laugh at myself…
From fear of laughing at anyone else

I hide within my sadness
It keeps me sane and controls my madness

See, the ‘make-up’ isn’t here
But the laugh is what I wear

And after a day of laughing
Begins a night of crying

And after a night of crying
Begins another day of laughing…

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A Collaboration By: Tariq MaQbool SBI#000830758C; And
Kory “Hussain” McClary SBI#000573398C

COVID took my guy, six thirty in the mornin
My boy, my dude … died
Breathing hard, struggling
he gave up right there in that bed
Tubed up, cooped up, sippin
the Reaper’s tea
They diggin his grave, so that he may rest
My breathin’s heavy, like a rock on my chest

Shit jokers plan, dusk till dawn
mornin till night
never ever knowin
where the sickle might smite
Rollin through the life
as if a broken kite
Still,
this shit ain’t right
Gotta chill, let this slide
like every other bullshit in here
brotha just gotta fight
Need a break, a little mental like

“Yo, Hussain, you down wit this workout right?”

“Got this my brother, Yo Akhi, chill aight!”
“Let’s get to the ‘Graveyard’,
we just gotta get our mind right”

* * * * *

SPARRING in the Prison Big Yard
A Graveyard where gangstas are laid to rest
Shadow Boxing in a cemetery, full of tombless plots
Bobbing and weaving, side stepping and jabbing
The ghost that float above, excavate the Earth
The Earth to which they must return
but refuse to go
Ducking and hooking the air,
the air copiously filled with demons
The specter of a gangstas pass …

MOVE!

ROPE-A-DOPING on the side of a mausoleum
Maneuvering away from a zombie’s bite
The dead want a nigga, these evil forces tormentin
Wantin a nigga’s soul on site
to dwell in hell forever like
Mentally ducking,
wondering if the Mind’s Eye is
playing with reality,
Un-seeable?
Or is this total misery and wretchedness,
absolute and,
unchangeable???

MOVE!

JOGGING through the Graveyard where
the forgotten rest
Viewing the nameless headstones with trepidation,
beads across the forehead, shimmering cold sweat
The dissonant howl of a wolf fills the air
A Werewolf!
A translucent spirit flickers the peripheral sphere
it converges, quickly
Running from death, chasing the full moon
A rat’s skeleton scurries on spurs
A cat roars a shrieking purr
A black cat!
A woman’s grating scream comes from beneath the Earth

RAIN DROPS …

Terror grips the soul
Chills grab the flesh
A light jog turns into a heavy dash

SPLASH!

Death is whistling, Life is silent
A man draped in black hooded cloak, appears
seeming violent!
Grimm Reaper?
Final destination?
The precise truth remains elusive
Death shall remain, however, exclusive

MOVE!

JUMPING ROPE in a Graveyard
where real niggas are dead, but still
alive
Where Life means digging ya own grave,
and jumping on top of the headstone till Death
arrives
Where Life means forever, and Death is coveted
In this Graveyard, Life’s smell is putrid
and Death smells sweet
In here,
Life is Death or Death is Life
Life is jumping rope in front of ya plot,
until Death did y’all apart from your misery
Death is precious,
precise
and Life is a Groundhogs Day ball of anguish
But fuck it!
This is where the gangstas is at … a prison!

STOP!!!

* * * * *

Breathing heavy, sighs slowed to a cadence
“How you feelin?”
“Doin good my brother, though I’m still reelin”

Casting shadows in the Graveyard like
Brothers Grimm
Life got many avenues, but in here
they slim

Still gotta get to feelin normal
soon
Can’t be dealin with this impendin
doom
It’s getting darker …
Soon it will turn to
gloom
Still feelin heavy
Melancholy
Carryin a dead man’s tune!

* * * * *

“Come my brother,
you wit me?
Once more around this mothafucka!”

MOVE!

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Life’s Junction

September 14, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Life has a junction, over and over
a repeating lunacy
without adieu
simple in nature, yet subtle
chaotic and sad, yet utopian too

Words run amuck with random thoughts
as always,
they ring loud, and simply true
a damp spirit, with a purple hue

Ruthless characters with evil eyes
surrounding gardens, where hope ensues
its sorrow and pain
in every sight
no happiness or reprieve in any pew

Facts blurred by the virtue of evil
crafts of deceit emerge from the devil
eyeing a goal of eternal oblivion
it’s you, it’s I, stuck in the cycle
round and round of iniquity vile!

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Author: Kory “Hussain” McClary # 000573398C | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

“Hello” from the other side of the concrete and razor wire wall. A man is trapped behind the wall, calling out to anyone who is listening.

“Hello, hello, could you get me out of here.”

Man down, man in distress, castaway. A man’s life is slowly but surely slipping away while he is trapped behind this concrete and razor wire wall.

His ‘hellos’ are all met with echoes. It’s an empty vast canyon behind this wall where only the soulless dwell.

“Hello”, it seemed as if he was calling out to himself. This man did not want to become one of the lost souls forgotten about so he shouted his ‘hello’ from the others side of the wall loader.

“Hello”, but still only an echo.

This man wondered if anyone realized that there was a man snared behind this wall. Did anyone care that this man had loved ones to get home to. Little ones to guide. He had a mother to hug, a wife to love, sisters and brothers waiting to receive his brotherly smile. A father he needed to embrace and a mother he needed to kiss… .

“Hello”, he could hear the traffic promenading the other side of the wall. So he roared his ‘hello’. The response was only a roar of an echo.

He was being ignored and left to be what he dreaded, a soulless shell. Why? He was a man who made mistakes like those on the others side of the wall ignoring him.

He was sorry for his mistakes. Only if someone would listen and let him explain.

“Hello, hello, could you get me out of here.”

The man knew that the concrete and razor wire wall was impervious. Unclimbed, never to be breached, and the sole witness to his trap.

Only if he screamed louder, someone would have to answer him.

“Hello”, just another echo.

Too many screams turned this man voiceless. His calls caused him to be further entangled.

Muted!

No voice, so the man on the other side of the wall wrote. He wrote his pain in the form of an ‘SOS’; placed it in a bottle and threw it away over the concrete and razor wire wall. Somehow the bottle was returned undisturbed. The man refused to let his hope in humanity slip away. So he threw the bottle back over the concrete and razor wire wall.

Still there was no responses or help. The bottle was returned, note still intact. His ‘hello’ from the other side of the wall could not be reciprocated. His pen was broke.

Now the man cried. Tears of pain, shame, and remorse ran down his face.

His hands were cuffed behind his back, his legs were shackled. And his mouth was gagged. Only his tears flowed freely, allowing this man behind this wall in this barren place to know that he still had a soul. A soul that yearned to be free… .

“Hello!”

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Author: Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

In recent days, the news around the country, once again, is filled with Corona Virus related issues. The obvious result of the pandemic taking space on the airwaves is reduced focus on the protests for social justice.

The death of Congressman John Lewis highlighted for me that the wheel of time turns without any hitch. The death of yet another stalwart of our social justice movement further stressed the importance of that special cause and the need for change now. It seems that we keep losing our Nation’s heroes without any actual progress. Truly, the days of Selma seem virtually unchanged in a lot of aspects of our culture.

In my humble opinion, the problem of taking the ‘eyes off the ball’ remains the main issue towards any required change.

The Black Lives Latter Movement, and others whom are protesting for systematic changes to our Criminal Justice System, Social Justice, and Policing Reforms seem disjointed and without structure.

Charles Barkley recently made rounds on the sports talk shows following a “Tweet” criticizing the ‘Protest Movement’ for being without organization and being too focused on simplistic and meaningless symbolism; and being bogged down with pointless arguments such as what ‘labels’ athletes place on their jerseys.

I submit that, the Hall of Fame Basketball player rightly criticized and tried to bring attention to the actual and real issues rather than just wordplay.

This ‘loosing of focus’ is becoming the hallmark of the recent Protest Movements where the message is getting lost due to ‘other’ unrelated issues. For example, Collin Kapernik’s taking the knee was hijacked by President Trump’s ‘dog whistle’ of being anti-flag, anti-American, and being un-patriotic. Kapernik himself muddled his message by being silent and seemingly without any strategy others than suing the NFL.

Charlottesville, Ferguson, and other similar protests were marred by ‘us v. them’ politics, violence, and pointless rhetoric that resulted in the status quo.

Even now, although the post George Floyd murders protests seem different, I submit, without proper national organization and strategy, there will be no results. With COVID-19 struggles and dirty politics, the goal of change appears more chaotic and unachievable.

In the same vein, the United States Supreme Court in recent days struck yet another blow to the requested and demanded change by ruling against a challenge to one more bias, racist, and unfair state voting law that disqualified ex offenders from voting. This ruling further highlighted the need to get together and to speak with one voice. Rather than random protests, center of attention should be on national unity and approach.

Where the highest ‘Halls of Justice’ seem to signal that the fundamental rights of an American citizen to vote are forfeited in perpetuity due to a simple run-in with the law, a clear message is sent that even the most basic of rights are not going to be afforded to a citizen, specially the one of a darker hue.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is akin to injustice in itself. Where a segment of society in this country is told that you are forever a subservient class! The decision has yet another dangerous precedent of Apartheid like reality for the minority of this country.

Thus, Charles Barkley’s Tweet and advice should be taken seriously by those who actually want change, reform, and a better just and equal tomorrow for all Americans regardless of their color and creed.

I would suggest and urge the Protest Movement all over the country to organize in State entities and focus on struggle and efforts that are particular to the need of each State in this Union.

Without such focus, the death of George Floyd and countless others and the resulting Movement will fizzle out. To make change, we must Organize, Strategize, and Implement!

Otherwise, it’s all for naught.

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Black Women

August 24, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Duane Kelly # 488959B | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Beautiful Black Women
Where shall I begin?

Intelligent, classy, and strong
Putting up with brothers for so very long

Inspirational, independent, and talented
Always to be appreciated, never to be taken for granted

Mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers
Always there, always supportive, holding families together

The center of Black Pride
Queens dignified, Diva personified

Single, married, and hardworking
Raising babies, loving wives
and still holding down good cooking

Soft, sensitive, and sexy
It’s a privilege and pleasure to have you next to me

Easily my better half
Making two into one, using the lovers’ math

My beautiful Black Women, out of all GOD’s creations,
We were made to last

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It’s Monday

August 18, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: Raymond “Hamzah” Franklin # 860075B | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

It’s Monday. I know it’s Monday because Monday’s lunch is always hotdogs. And guess what was served today? Shriveled, barely boiled, pink with little hints of green…hotdogs.

I am not complaining; at least there was something to eat. However, using food to calculate the days and weeks really does a number on food selection – Sunday chicken, Monday hotdogs, Tuesday taco meat, Wednesday hamburger and potato puffs, Thursday casserole (that’s what They call it), Friday fish, and Saturday chili…I know the days of the week by what I’m eating, or what I’m not eating in most cases.

Speaking of not eating, breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. But here in the International House of Prisons, breakfast is served during a one half-hour period only. If you miss it, you miss it. There is no going to get your breakfast if you have a medical appointment or some other matter of importance that just so happened to be scheduled during breakfast period. Once the thirty minutes are up, the extra food (enough to feed the city’s homeless) is bagged and donated to the prison’s rats. I’m not talking about the ‘Snitches who get the Stitches’, (or maybe I am); I mean the food, in all its enormity, is thrown away.

The officers, of course, get their split before the rats get to nibbling. Certain privilege holders – we’ll just call them ‘finks’ – get their fair share as well. But the bulk of what the kitchen puts out is almost automatically destined for the dumpster. On top of that, the prison will actually punish its wards for trying to eat it! I don’t get it. The prison feeds portions to grown men that won’t satisfy Orphan Annie or Oliver Twist; yet, the grown men are given infractions for trying to commandeer the food that the prison intended to throw away!

Why not leave the food on the line and allow the people – prisoners, officers, and staff – to eat from it all day? Treat it like a buffet. If the people have no other obligations, then they can go to the buffet line and eat!

Or why not start a food donation program? Gather some of the homeless from around the city and usher them into the mess hall. Have the prisoners seat and serve them. Let the prisoners give them an hour or two of humane treatment for once. Win-win for everybody…well, not everybody.

If the powers that be – the check writers – ever got wind that the prison was runnings a food donation drive for the homeless, the first thing the powers would do is lessen the food budget. They would claim that they have been allotting too much money for food just because there is enough food to give away after feeding the prisoners. They would rather throw it away due to greed than allow their wards to benefit or even allow the needy of the community to prosper even just a bit.

We are not talking about Cracker Barrel or Denny’s, or Old Country Buffet, or Outback Steakhouse, or Sonic, or 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, or Applebee’s, or T.G.I. Fridays, or Olive Garden, or any mom & pop, slime & slop pizza joint… we’re taking about prison food! – The morsels and crumbs that certain persons of society have deemed suitable for the non-desirables.

But, it’s nobody’s fault. After all, it’s Monday…hotdog day. Or Tuesday… taco day. Or Wednesday… burger and tots day. Or Thursday… mystery casserole day. Or Friday… fish day. Or Saturday… chili day. Or Sunday… chicken (yard bird) day. There is not enough food to donate to the homeless, but there is plenty to give to the rats.

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From A Fallen

August 14, 2020 | Prison | Incarceration | Inmates | No Comments

Author: P. Reid # 830759C | Edited by Tariq MaQbool
Incarcerated writer, fighting to prove my innocence. You can reach me at Tariq MaQbool #532722/830758C PO Box 861 Trenton NJ 08625 or via JPay.com

Prison life is a serious thing – not just the circumcision from life, as we know it, but by the boundaries of how the entire family dynamic suffers a massive fracture by an individual’s incarceration.

We allow the pressure of society to cause us to deny love to the one who have fallen from grace by virtue of a crime committed.

Love me despite me…!

The struggles of the children of the incarcerated are never seen and their challenges, to achieve their goals despite the handicap of having their lives inverted, not by a selfish act of the parent governed by rules of oppression and degradation to levels not known by onlookers who can’t see beneath the undercurrent of modern day slavery.

The challenges of trying to parent from behind the wall takes a strong and virtuous individual who refuses to compromise of his or her values and principles that keeps perspective of who we are evident to those we are trying to instill morals as they persist to exist.

Covered in stereotype and societal bias as to being compared to the scum of the earth, even if the incarcerated is innocent and convicted by a system configured to keep the ‘machine’ oiled and continuous, it is also regardless of the need to fulfill the farce concept of justice.

Getting the assistance needed to regain freedom can be very trying at times. Those suited to power are those who have never sought it, and he who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

Not being able to affect influence or change in the lives of loved ones wears at the soul of an individual who cares – gone but hopefully notable forgotten…

I have always given my truth to be ‘overstood’ that there are still good people left in this world of ‘Me Too’ and the ‘watch what I’m doing!’ Having the courage to live my way and striving to getting to a place where my respect for self and others leave me happy to be whom I want to be, even if I’m draped in Khaki and referred to by numbers.

We are told never to judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. But then, it doesn’t matter, ’cause you’re a mile away and you’ve got his shoes!’ Besides, every man’s journey is not his own – but also those of whom his ties carry.

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