Hear From System-Impacted People

Martin H.

I was sent back to prison while on probation for fines and a technical violation. When you’re on probation, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I had some false allegations made against me by an ex-girlfriend, so I had to sit in jail for three months until I was found not guilty. Had I not been on probation, then it would have been "you’re innocent until proven guilty." I lost 3 months of my life, I lost an apartment, and a job. Of course, when I came home my spirit was broken after 3 months and I couldn’t pay my fines and I stopped reporting, so I ended up having to go back for a whole year.  

Listen to his story here. 

 

Patricia M.

The initiation process of intake is the worst experience – it starts out bad and ends up bad because you’re not given directions properly about what to do, what’s going on, what they expect of you. They’re constantly threatening you and yelling at you. You are constantly in fear. They need to hire people that care, that actually want to help the inmates rehabilitate and not go back. It’s not going to happen by using fear because a lot of inmates go in there because they’ve lived in fear their whole lives in the free world. They can threaten you with whatever they want; they have nothing to lose.

Listen to her story here.

 

Kevin G.

In state jail, they just release you out. My situation is a little different than most people in state jail in that I was still on parole. So, that meant that I had to have a place to stay. Because I didn't have a verifiable address to give them, they put me in a halfway house that was 95% sex offenders. Everyone in Fort Worth knows the reputation of that halfway house. It didn't matter that I didn't have a sex offense. The fact that I was displaced there because of the system—both parole and state jail—made it tough to get a job. I had my bachelor's degree already and I was just a couple hours away from getting my law degree. Finding houses and finding jobs wasn't terribly difficult before I went to state jail. But when I got out, living in that situation was really tough. 

Listen to his story here

 

Allison F.

The conditions of state jail are dehumanizing. So, as soon as you hit ground on that unit, the process of stripping you of your identity begins. I became #934795 and I was no longer human from that point until I was released. I was never called by my name. I was never treated like a human being. I was literally #934795 for my entire time there. Also, the way that the guards speak to you is degrading; they have no respect for you. It’s a gang-banger's dream.

Listen to her story here. 

 

Bernard M.

I think being locked up, you're getting punished again and again. You're in front of a jury again every single day. The officers treat you like you did a wrong every day and like you did some harm to them personally. So, if I can change anything, it's the inhumane [conditions] like air conditioning and the behavior of the guards. 

Listen to his story here. 

 

Roderick J.

I was victimized for 18 months and sold into sexual slavery that resulted in a prison rape lawsuit. Due to that incident, I continue to fight for victims of prison rape and the rights of the LGBTQ community. 

Listen to his story here