• John & Vivett Dukes

"Prison Has A Way of Hurting People That Are Already Hurt..."                - John Dukes

Dear Vivett, Thank you for being my Belle in these hard times. Prison destroys people more than society knows or cares to know about. Most people think prison corrects bad behavior, or at least they would like to think so. The Department of Corrections promotes alternative facts like "educating prisoners", and "providing care, custody, and basic reform". The truth is that not only are they grossly misinformed, but also that the joke is on the tax-payers! 

The irony is that society will eventually pay for these bad apples. Men and women are filling prisons faster these days and returning home more damaged. I liken prison to post traumatic stress syndrome, and most prisoners already come to prison traumatized. All prison does is enhance this pre-existing condition. 

The prison building itself is designed for conflict. The architects never considered comfort. This designs flaw gives room for a lot of the madness that takes place. For example, some housing blocks have cells that share toilet pipes. I'm not a plumber so bear with me with the plumbing terms, but whoever flushes their toilet first, his waste goes into his neighbor's toilet. Sometimes you come back to your cell and your toilet has feces inside it. 

Prison has a way of hurting people that are already hurt. Cell doors are connected to the bars which easily disrupts whoever your neighbor might Just imagine smelling all these different odors --especially when people use the bathroom. Add to that people who smoke, don't wash, and those who live in a mess. I've lived on cells where my neighbor doesn't shower and has roaches. I've had neighbors with mental health issues who were keeplocked/ in the box for long periods of time. Keep locked prisoner's can be an issue. Due to being locked in their cell for 23 hours a day, these individuals often morph into something else....something unhealthy...and unrecognizable.  

They are restless. They sleep all day. They stay up all night. Some find other prisoners to play chess with by calling out their moves on the chess board. This is loud and upsets the others around them. Long meaningless conversations can linger for hours and speaking about any old thing becomes a recreation. The babbling is annoying. All of this mayhem adds to the insanity already present in prison. Where is the correction? Where is the reform? 

Inmates are daily subjected to environments where each person is trying to study, cook, rest, watch t.v, socialize, and/or make phone calls at the same time. This leads to arguments and fights. I've watched men behave abnormally for years now. Men, unable to control themselves, are constantly trying to release energy in some way. Once our cells are opened, prisoners run to secure a spot on the phone line. This event takes place everyday and although most of us know one another by now, there is no communication or willingness to compromise. 

I have to go now, but know that I love, appreciate, and adore you, my love. Vivett, coming home to you is the air I breathe.


Your husband,


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