Getting out and coming back to prison…

As I get closer to the end of this incarceration, there is something that really makes me depressed and scares me half to death…

How often I hear about guys I know who leave prison and don’t make it more than a couple of months out there in the world.

It never fails.

It seems like someone is always telling me about this person or that person who just recently out there and on the “run” or has already been arrested for some new charges.

Why does this depress me…?

Because hearing stuff like this makes me feel like I don’t even stand a chance out there.

It scares me because it makes me think, “Oh my God is this going to be me?”

Three months after I am released are guys going to be sitting in prison saying, “Hey did you hear about, Joe?”

The most recent cause of what I am talking about goes like this…

Yesterday I am boxing in the gym and this guy I know keeps saying something about him “Cisko-ing”me. “I’m gonna knock you out.”

“I’m gonna Cisko you”. And I’m thinking, okay there was this guy name Cisko who use to be here at the prison but what the hell is this guy talking about?

“I’m gonna Cisko you”. “You better watch out I’m gonna knock you out.”

Finally I asked.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Oh, you didn’t hear about Cisko?” He said. “Don’t you remember Cisko”. He asked.

Of course I remembered Cisko.

How could anyone not remember this guy? He was pretty well known on this compound for some things I am not gonna mention here. All I can say is I mentioned this guy a couple of times before in some blogs I had wrote but I am not going to go into that any further.

My buddy then tells me about how over the weekend Cisko was at the bar and got into a fight. Actually the fight consisted of just one hit.

Cisko hit this guy one time and somehow that one hit killed the guy.

Now Cisko is sitting in jail again facing some type of murder or manslaughter charge. His face is plastered all over the news, there is surveillance footage of the fight that they are showing on the news and the prison is a buzz all about Cisko.

Oh and what was the fight about…

Well, they said it had something to do with a comment one said to the other. But me, I think it was behind a little shit talking behind the Cowboys and Redskins game. I mean, the fight took place in a bar during that game and you can even see the guy that was killed clearly wearing a Cowboys jersey. I’m sure in some way it was related to that.

This entire situation is crazy because there is no way Cisko meant to kill this other guy. But all of this just goes to show you how fast shit can spiral out of control. I mean, here is this guy Cisko ready to fight this other guy and with just one punch thrown, he kills him.

With all of this I am forced to think about just how fragile freedom is. Especially, for guys getting out of prison! I don’t want to be one of these guys who gets out of prison and shortly thereafter gets tripped up on some dumb shit

I value my life and I want to have my life and my freedom when I get it and be able to enjoy all that.

But what do I have to do get out and walk around on eggshells all the time.

Constantly look over my shoulder to make sure nothing pops up to surprise me for the take down.

I guess I just might have to do that.

Maybe if Cisko did he wouldn’t be sitting in jail looking at another prison sentence right now.

Click on the link below to read an article on the matter and see the video footage.

http://wavy.com/2014/12/29/man-dies-inside-chesapeake-restaurant/

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Peter Pan Painting

Another painting I just recently did for some very special people. The piece was created for their little girl where the mother and father had two completely different ideas so I did my best to combine both ideas together. As I worked on this piece I imagined what it would be like to paint something like this on the walls of a child’s room…. That is something I hope to find work doing once released.

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Banning ‘the box’ to help ex-convicts find jobs

I saw the story on the news called ban the box about different states trying to do away with the “Have you been convicted of a felony?” Question on job applications, and I thought this was pretty interesting.

On job applications, applicants are asked if they have “ever” “or in the last five years” “or “in 10 years” been convicted of a felony, and to check “yes” or “no”.

Well, ban the box is suppose to give felons a fair chance at reasonable employment through jobs that are supposed to be felon friendly in the first place, but in all actuality might be more felon discriminatory.

Ban the box is simply just to help felons get pass the initial application process instead of denied out right because of a felony conviction or, like me with a whole bunch of felony convictions.

The goal of this legislation is to get felons at least to the interview stage or maybe a one on one with a possible employer which could better their chances at a job. So maybe an employer who would deny an applicant out right because he or she checked the “yes” box for a felony conviction, that employer might actually see some good in that applicant during the interview process and then decide he or she might be worth a chance to hire.

 

Finding a job once released for people like myself is a huge deal and it gives me hope seeing states try to give felons a better chance at that. Fortunately, I don’t think Virginia is one of those states yet. But maybe soon they will be.

Check out the link below to watch the video on “Ban the box”.

Banning ‘the box’ to help ex-convicts find jobs.

I hate Christmas….

I think Christmas is the hardest of all holidays to try and keep it together while in prison. If one can handle the sorrow of being away from loved ones, or not having loved ones, or feelings of absolute loneliness, then that, at least, is half the battle. The other half of that battle comes from everything else one must endure on Christmas while locked up.

First are the asshole CO’s who act extra shitty maybe because their mad they have to work the holiday. Or the most likely case…

Their just miserable in their own lives!

Forget the fact that we’re the ones locked up. Many like me who have been locked up for years!

It seems the highlights of these asshole CO’s is to try and effect others, especially prisoners, with their misery.

Trying to avoid these miserable bastards and not be effected by their bullshit is a major uphill battle seeing as they tend to pull out all the punches in an effort to make the holidays even harder than they already are.

Next, and just as bad are the other prisoners, Ones who might be having a tougher time than most with the holidays.

I hate these guys.

I personally don’t care about whatever it is you’re going through dude.

Want to know why?

Because everyone here in prison has their own little war, within them to contend with on Christmas.

The objective is just to get through it.

Tomorrow is another day.

Plus, you’re probably just a fucking scumbag in life like me anyways!

I mean your right here in prison with me. Aren’t you?

Suck it up pussy.

Hey my family fucking hates me! Bet your situation isn’t that bad is it? Does yours hate you? Has your mother not spoken to you in over 8 ½ years because she hates you? Has everyone in your family cast you out like a castaway because you have never amounted to shit like mine has…?

You don’t see me crying about it do you?

Oh wait….

That’s exactly what I am doing right now.

Jesus.

I fucking hate Christmas.

You know I sit here and make jokes about a lot of serious shit but you know why I do that, right?

It’s because I just can’t handle the reality of shit no other way unless I did try to throw a little humor in the mix.

I laugh at a lot of fucked up shit…

Probably part of the reason why my humor is so fucked up!

So even though my life in most regards is terribly fucked up or sad, don’t feel sorry for me.

Laugh about it.

Because that’s what I do. And yes maybe that DOES mean I am crazy.

But I don’t think there is any other way I could get through all these hard times if it weren’t for being able to laugh at just how fucked up it all is.

And with my life being as fucked up as it is which is why I can feel zero pity for the next man.

Especially, the next man, who just wants to wallow in his self pity and do nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly wallow in my own self pity. But I’m certainly not sitting here doing nothing.

Why?

Because nothing changes if nothing changes…

A little motto I live by.

And “never settle for less.” That’s what’s tatted across my chest with two big ass diamonds on each side. To remind myself that every time I look in the mirror that success is what I’m really after.

Christmas is just another obstacle I must conquer in pursuit of that.

Christmas in prison sucks.

But you want to know what I do on Christmas?

Well besides wallowing in my own self pity, feeling sorry for myself, and drowning in my feelings, I work hard. Like any and every other day. Because nothing, is going to stand in the way of me trying to get where I want to be.

To all of you out there who can and who care…enjoy Christmas.

Thanks for letting me share. 🙂

Locked up on Christmas

The holidays are a tough time to be in prison and you would think after 6 years I would be use to all this by now. But really, there is no getting use to this shit. Luckily, this is my last Christmas here… My last of many things! In light of that I try to remain somewhat optimistic and also focused and driven. To everyone out there Happy Holidays!

If you were locked up on Christmas what would you miss the most? For me, I miss life in general the most.

A lockdown revelation

Okay, so this week hasn’t gone quite like I expected it to. But that’s the great thing about my circumstances…

I can always blame EVERYTHING on my circumstances.

Hey, I’m in prison, here!

I can’t control shit!

So of course I couldn’t control the fact that we were just locked down for 2 days earlier this week so they could finish shaking down the rest of the prison.

Notice how I say “finish”…?

Why?

Because the first time they attempted to shake the compound down they didn’t have the money to do the whole thing at once. At least, that’s the word anyways.

That’s kind of believable too considering their shutting down prisons all across the state due to budget cuts.

But that’s a whole other thing all together.

So while on lockdown, we usually get a little time to our self where we don’t have to group or work…

We’re just on lockdown and we can chill.

Now even though this time they did kind of try to make us group one day, which almost sorta started world war 3 in this bitch, we did get the utter day to ourselves. And it was on that day that I realized something…

I had a little revelation on that day.

I now know and understand why it is that I am at a place that doesn’t want to give me all the time in the world to myself and instead wants to try and break my “willful spirit” through there extremis style regimen of bullshit groups and programming –that no way helps or educates me or prepares me for release. Yet, in turn, is a facade- fault-fraudulent convict scheme that devours taxpayer’s dollars at a more frantic rate then damn shoveling piles of money into an open fire.

Sorry.

I got to remember there are ears in a cornfield here.

People that are probably listening or watching for that matter, so I can’t tell it like it really is…

Not yet, at least.

Yes, I now know why I’m forced to go along with the scheduling demands of this place, and not left to my own devices to do as I would somewhat please as is case of almost every other prison!

The reason… Because I would fucking CONQUER the world here!

I was able to realize that on the one day I did have to myself. A day I spent just doing things I wanted to do.

And guess what?

I got SO MUCH shit done!

It was GREAT!

All of that only made me realize just how much I could get done in a week or a month or a year if I had every day to do as I pleased.

Unfortunately, I don’t.

Instead I have to try and get as much done with as little time to myself as possible to get it done.

But I guess there is a lesson in that too.

Discipline!

And, perseverance!

That’s a good thing I guess, right…?

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Celebrate the season of giving by donating to ‘Have a Heart 4 The Homeless’

Check out my home boy Q out there doing great things proving that even after release that guys like us can really get it together for themselves. Homeboy this is a great cause you are working towards and I am gonna tell everyone here to check this out. Keep doing what you’re doing.

WTVR.com

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RICHMOND, Va – Joe’i Chancellor, Founder of ‘Have a Heart 4 The Homeless,’ and painter Justin Q. Young shared details about how you can join in the season of giving by volunteering or donating to ‘Have a Heart 4 The Homeless.’ They will be collecting items from now until December 22nd at Dzine Detail, located at 2900 W. Clay Street. HH4H serves the community every year with its Christmas Eve Celebration on December 24th from 12pm to 6pm at the Paradise Lounge, located at 112 N. 5th Street.  For more information call 804-909-4090 or visit https://www.facebook.com/HaveAHeart4TheHomeless.

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