I deserve parole because I won’t take the opportunity to redeem myself lightly. I will right the wrongs that I have directly and indirectly participated in which place our families and communities on the brink of ruin. Society needs me, as well as like-minded individuals, to mentor troubled young men and women in an attempt to change their mindset and set them on a more positive path.
One could arguably say that a “byproduct” of our actions, or lack thereof, has our children slaughtering themselves and others at an alarming rate. Many of the parents, preachers, teachers, politicians, law enforcement officials, and community activists, have made valiant efforts that I commend. However, there seems to be no end in sight, as the madness continues.
One of the most simple and logical solutions, if not the most simple and logical, is right in front of everyone’s eyes! The question is, would concerned citizens of society rather continue seeing babies and innocent, hardworking, law-abiding people die, or choose what some would consider to be the lesser of two evils? We do it all the time when electing officials to serve public office. Why not to save lives?
When the anti-venom for a snakebite is produced,strains of snake venom are used to make the antidote. We must take the same approach in combating the ailments that continue to plague our communities. The antidote to the poison ravaging our neighborhoods is being warehoused behind prison walls. We, society’s outcasts and forgotten, hold the cure to an epidemic that has spread way past and out of control!
Here in Illinois, there are upwards of 5,000 or more incarcerated people who’ve served lengthy, outrageous sentences that are not affording an opportunity to be paroled and restored to useful citizenship. Many of us accept responsibility for directly or indirectly perpetuating the violence and other criminal activities that are destroying us as human beings. Having taken advantage of various educational and religious programs that prison has to offer, many of us have evolved into a greater understanding of manhood. Through this “new awakening,” we’ve begun to value life and accept responsibility for our actions, becoming more loving and compassionate, with a sincere desire to educate and enlighten those who are unconscious.
What purpose does it serve to have programs in prison that educate and rehabilitate men, only to keep them hidden behind prison walls for decades? Is it to satiate the public with the one-sided force of getting tough on crime to make communities safe? Incarcerated people with lengthy sentences are not given an opportunity for parole, to take the positive lessons we’ve learned back to society to educate troubled youth, gang members, addicts, etc.
The equilibrium in many of our communities is out of alignment with the laws of nature. There are far too many unconscious individuals in our neighborhood who continue to promote and/or perpetuate violence and not nearly enough men and women in the midst, who’ve seen the world from this perspective for decades. We could help balance the scales if granted parole. Things have gotten so far out of hand that we are now seeing, in unprecedented numbers, a culture of gangs, drugs and violent behavior in areas once regarded as ideal locations to raise a family.
It is imperative for humankind’s sake that those with power and influence abandon the misguided mentality of “lock ‘em up and throw away the key,” because reformed, incarcerated people who’ve gained the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of what’s required to live a positive and productive lifestyle is just the antidote that needs to be injected into the veins of society. Our messages could prove to be both powerful and effective in not only changing the face of Chicago, but other areas that face similar challenges. We know the language, mentality and hardships of gangbangers, drug dealers, addicts and others with a criminal mindset. We’ve lived the lifestyles they’re living and have been where they’re headed. They’ll listen to us and tell us things they won’t share with their parents, preachers, or policemen, but no one should or can expect our voices to be heard, being muffled by these prison walls.
I have served 18 years of a 42 year sentence for accountability to murder, for the death of a drug dealer. Though I am not the actual perpetrator, I do accept a degree of responsibility, particularly for knowing better and not doing better. I for one, have earned my G.E.D., associate’s degree, and completed addictions counseling as well as becoming a certified tutor for Literacy Volunteers of America. I am a skilled upholsterer by trade and heir to a family upholstery business that I one day hope to operate while simultaneously training ex-convicts, and interested others, in learning a trade that would be conducive to securing gainful employment. I pray that I am one day granted parole so that I can spend the rest of my time on earth saving lives.
For these reasons, and more, I believe that I deserve a chance for parole.
George Frison #B-06712