Saturday, March 23, 2013

Too many sad stories

My friend Chuck has heard enough of our sad stories.

Each day, HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS sends out a short message by email to a loyal group of supporters. More often than not, the message is a direct quote from a prisoner telling of the grief and misery in that particular facility.

Chuck thinks this probably is not the best way to raise money, and that perhaps we should tell more positive stories about what HFP is doing to make the lives of prisoners a bit brighter.

It's a valid suggestion, and we'll certainly try to put a more positive spin on our messages.

But the sad fact is that the tragic stories keep piling onto our desk daily, without fail. And just when you think you've heard it all, you hear a story even more outrageous.

My reason for feeding these excerpts out each morning is to give everyone we know a taste of what we face day after day, week after week. In my speaking engagements, I am reminded time and again just how little people know about the inside of prisons. Some actually believe that it's a comfortable place to live, where one gets three square meals a day. One of our jobs, I believe, is to convey these hellish stories to the public. Maybe if we make enough noise, and tell enough stories, someone will start doing something about it. Maybe someone in a position of authority will listen and decide that this is no way to treat fellow human beings. Maybe voters will tell their elected officials that this is not acceptable. Maybe.

Until then, maybe Chuck is right.

Now to find something positive in prison stories.

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