This book is a collection of writings written by five inmates within the federal prison system. Within its pages is an opportunity for all to share in their compassion, empathy, and perceptions and possibly to understand and empathize with their lives.
It is the hope of the authors that the people of the world will enjoy and benefit from the unique, unchained creative ideas presented within that are both timeless and timely.
Sit back and enjoy the unique inspirational beauty that exists everywhere around us—even in prison, where the beauty of God and nature can never be locked down.
Derick Clemens conceived and created this Writers in Chains series while incarcerated in the federal prison system. He taught courses in prison about creative writing and compiled these poems and writings as a way of increasing awareness about the lives being cruelly destroyed by America’s draconian justice system. In prison, Clemens learned of the tenfold increase in the American prison population just since 1980, caused by fear-feeding politicians who allowed a “war” to be waged on American citizens. His conviction was just 50 marijuana plants and 50 kilos given to a lawful California dispensary. His sentence? Thirty three months!
Rampant gross medical and nutritional neglect reign where it can take 250 days on average just to see a real doctor and then treatment is usually denied, as happened to him for over 24 months when his shoulders rotator cuff tendons were torn... “wait till you get released” they told him (the tendons begin to atrophy 24 hours after such an injury making the repair impossible after the 2 year delay). The food was a cruel and unusual punishment in itself with no dark leafy vegetables except years old canned spinach every few days, a tiny measured portion of iceberg lettuce a few times a week and during this the cruel unhealthy guards pretend to be corrections officers.
The worst part was the inmates know how to grow the nutritious dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, bok choy and spinach that provide a healthy diet and fight disease. That the war on drugs and the war on white collar crime is far, far worse than all the damage those acts cause is beyond any doubt. Europe has figured this out. When will Americans wake up and see that prison is not the answer for 80% of the people we are putting there. In fact we are destroying the fabric of our nation. According to former AG Eric Holder, 50 to 70 million Americans have done time. Families are being destroyed, assets forfeited, felonies branded on for life and valuable intelligent citizens thrown into the rubbish pile. It is a great crime against humanity. And it needs to end now.