Greetings news staff,
How are all of you? I hope safe. I’m Mahdi, a federal prisoner here at FCI Florence in Colorado. I received your monthly paper – Thanks. It was a shame about your Death Row prisoners. The issue that really got me was the prisoner Eddie Mixon. Why don’t they release him and put him on house arrest? It’s a shame. He is 70 years old. I’m 71. He’s in worse shape than I am. He needs to be released. Why don’t the ACLU help him?
Thanks, stay safe.
R.N. Mahdi .FCI Florence
Dear editor, I am writing this in response to “Mr. Anonymous’” letter to the editor in Dec. 2020.
I am at the opposite end of the spectrum here as I am serving a 15-year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder: someone who committed an egregious act against my teenage daughter. He was 28 years old. I’ve always looked expectantly on a child’s potential for growth and the possibility that they can do great things and become great in our big world. I have always viewed anyone who would stifle that potential as the worst of our society.
Comparing your crime to mine is like comparing apples to oranges. But we both need to change and work aggressively at our rehabilitation. We have to make the effort to understand the far reaching impact of our crimes. We ‘both’ have to become better men – doing right, not for the chance of any reward, but simply because it’s good and right to do so.I was victimized as a child and I know many others who share similar experiences with me.
However, I would still like to say, “I forgive you.”
I willingly extend grace to you and others like you because you acknowledge the ugliness of your crime(s) and all its effects it has on your victim. That takes insight and a herculean effort. I’m on an SNY yard and it’s difficult for me sometimes because I do have issues with sex offenders because of my history.I do believe, however, that we all can change. I have thought about your plight many times, along with others like you. It must be difficult trying to utilize the help you need, while at the same time dealing with the stigma and uphill battle of society’s negative views about what you’ve done.
Everywhere you turn, people are throwing mud. But you know, so many of us are broken inside and we all just need grace and a leg up. Helping hands are strong hands – and I extend mine to you now in prayerful support. You can do it sir. The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step, and so, I commend you for embarking on your journey of change and your willingness to share and help others like you.
Don’t give up!
Our society and world need good [women] and men. Good luck and Godspeed in all your righteous endeavors.ISRAEL G.To the editor of San Quentin News. This is my response to Larry Lavell’s letter to the editor featured in the December 2020 issue of your paper. In this letter, Mr. Lavell refers to so-called third-world countries in order to denigrate the Corcoran SHU and the living standards therein, which Mr. Lavell seems to find beneath him. More to the point, however, my beef here isn’t necessarily with Mr. Lavell’s choice of words.
Rather, my problem is with the editor and staff of SQNews who seem to find it perfectly appropriate to print Mr. Lavell’s racist and chauvinistic remarks concerning third world countries and by extension third world people. For the record, all Spanish-speaking nations of Central and South America including Mexico and Brazil, as well as all Southeast Asian and African countries, are a part of the Third World. In other words, Mr. Lavell, along with SQNews, not only offended countless people, but in effect expressed unity with Donald Trump’s reference to the Third World as ‘s%#-hole’ countries.
Can Third World and Third World descended people such as myself get an apology from SQNews?I applaud Mr. Lavell’s claimed transformation, but perhaps he still has a little more work to do in the compassion and empathy department when it comes to people who currently have very little power over their current conditions, to which the United States is certainly the primary causative factor.
ALDO LEYVA: TEHACHAPI
THE SWORD, THE JEWEL AND THE MIRROR
I am the prisoner seeking myself. I am the prisoner building a legend. I am the prisoner who masters the soul. Looking in the mirror, I did on my own. I am the prisoner who’s building success. I am the prisoner whose mind never rests. I am the prisoner covered in gold. A valuable lesson, cut and polished like a stone. I am the prisoner inside fire and metal. I am the prisoner whose words are long. I am the prisoner who conquered them all. The self-knowledge, the money and the weapons.The mirror, the jewels and the sword.
LUIS NAPOLEON M. HENNIN
I have a question. Can you find the answer or can you find someone to give you the answer? Why is CDC[R] holding people in prison that qualify for early release or are eligible for things like 1393 or 1170d(1)?
I’m speaking for those of us who have been down 10 or more years and have shown nothing but the rehab to our own lives that was needed that CDCR could not provide. Those of us who have run a clean program [no write-ups], and have a positive report from everyone from the top brass all the way down to free staff and nurses. We can’t understand the reasons why we are still here in the middle of a pandemic. Does that make sense to any of you?
Even those who have worked throughout the pandemic, risking health and in most cases the quality of life. None of us have even gotten so much as a Thank You, a good boy chrono or anything we could use towards our release to show the courts that we not only risk our health, but completed our task at or above satisfactory work. How come we are forgotten?
Those of us who committed our crimes 10 or more years ago are still being judged as if we committed these crimes yesterday. Even for the men of faith it seems as though our prayers go unheard for days, weeks, months, or even years at a time. But no one seems to care about the good that we are now doing. That doesn’t matter. It’s a fact that we are just a number forgotten by everyone, even the legal system, and it has no system set up for those of us who have rehabilitated ourselves.
If it was up to them [CDCR], they would keep us locked up till we died.
Doesn’t matter rehabbed, repented, apologetic, or showing positive attitude and strong work ethic – doesn’t matter, our lives mean nothing to CDCR. Yes, there is a select few that might care, but if they speak up for you on your behalf, they will be looked down upon. They don’t understand that they are creating the one thing they say they are trying to stop. But until it changes from the top, that revolving door will stay open and they will keep piling us up one on top of the other. You can’t force change and not be willing to change yourself.#No-hopeforthoseincdc[r].
G. HARDY: CHI
I SHALL NOT PASS THIS WAY AGAIN By Anonymous
Through this torturous world, alas! Once and only once I pass; if a kindness I may show, if a good deed I may do, to a suffering fellow man, let me do it while I can.No delay, for it is plain, I shall not pass this way again.
Quote by Emma – “We all have a cross to bear in life. Bear your cross with dignity.”
To whom it may concern,
While incarcerated, it has been my experience that often, inmates have ongoing issues with the package companies we use. Most often it appears that the survey forms for customer service, when filled out for unsatisfactory service, fall on deaf ears. Could we somehow make an inmate petition and contact “Amazon” with our interest in their participation as a quarterly package provider? The added competition, if Amazon were interested, may cause the other package companies to improve their product line and service. How about having an article, every month called “inmate ideas” dedicated to positive ideas to improve the lives of inmates and our communities.
Sincerely, Larry Wiedenhoft
By current CDCR estimates, I can expect to be roughly 50 years old upon release; freed from physical confinement anyway. The stigma plus overt discrimination will certainly, instantly manifest with reentry, my violent felony conviction to forever dog me.
At the same time, I can realistically anticipate the opportunity to devote the following years to positively affecting ill-informed hearts and minds. Not only those misconceptions about me personally [some well justified, of course], but also the millions of similarly remorseful, accountable, hopeful convicts nationwide – fallible errants we.
There’s a familiar superstition among prisoners that warns of bad luck to those who look back on the prison as they leave, ensuring their eventual return. But alas, I intend to turn hard and stare down that gate, committing it to memory along with the myriad other long- and short-term residencies I’ve held throughout my life.
CHARLES T- CTF SOLE
INCIDENT By Countes Cullen
Once riding in Old Baltimore, heart filled, head filled with glee, I saw a Baltimorean staring straight at me. Now I was 8 and very small, and he was so much bigger and so I smiled. But he stuck out his tongue and called me nigger. I saw the whole of Baltimore from May until November. Of all the things that happened there – that’s all that I remember. Emma – We all have the power of speech, and words can be worse than a punch in the mouth. Words have the power to make vulnerable people feel terrible about themselves. So please, think before you speak!
Editor, I had read through the May-August edition of the San Quentin News and found an extremely interesting article about the introduction of illegal contraband into the prison system.
With so many visitor arrests during the years between 2014–2018, and so few arrests of correctional staff members and non-visitor persons, how can these numbers be reconciled in the 2019–2020, 2020–2021 periods with no visitors being allowed, and yet the drug-cellphone and tobacco numbers are as high as they have been? CDCR has blamed the visitor for the high volume of drugs, cellphones and tobacco that have been introduced into the system, but with no visits, who will they blame now?
MICHAEL JAMES: CSP-SO
TWILIGHT by By Emma Adams: AMHC Alton, Illinois
Remembering back to when I was free and young. When I walked among the cornfields and absorbed the beauty of twilight. The lightning bugs hovered all around, their little lights danced in the humid air. The sky turned into soft cotton candy colors. Those summer twilights are still with me. I see them in my mind often. Even though I’m stuck in captivity, I can rewind the time to twilight.
Dear Gangster…I just want to save you.
This word is for you who hates his neighbor or her neighbor, just because they represent a different “color” or “number,” “name” or “skin color.” If you want to live in peace and with your family and be happy, let go of all the things that you were doing that caused you to come to prison. Change the way you act, the way you think and the things that you do. Don’t let somebody’s words cause you to hurt them. Simply stay away from the negativity and place yourself in a circle with people that are grown and have learned from experience within their own lives.
That gangbanging is a path to failure and not success. You’re not just fighting different hoods, you’re fighting with the government. The battle that a gangster just has to lose! Release yourself from the chains that bound you. There is another life that you are missing out on. Find peace because it was always there within your heart, homie. Peace to brothers and sisters.