“Ya not gonna understand how we feel until ya are in a situation like us”

The following is from an inmate, 17, who is angry about the ban on pencils in cells and other “stupid rules.”

Hey _____,

Yeah, that is messed up about not having pencils in our cells anymore. They said only to use around officers, but they don’t think about the people who love to draw like me. Or people who want to write books or music or just write to get weight off their shoulders. I tell the pod officers all the time ya not gonna understand how we feel until ya are in a situation like us. They really don’t understand. It’s really stupid rules like those that set me off but I held my own all these months. I’m really starting to change little by little…I would like books to help pass my time and I like to read especially books about people talking about their lives how they used to live growing up in the hood/street gangbanging and how they changed. Those types of books inspire me to change. Like right now I’m reading a book called Manchild in the Promised Land, by Claude Brown. It talks about how he grew up in the streets of Harlem getting into trouble banging, and how he changed his life around. Really good book, not done yet but it’s good so far. Well preciate the concern for all of us. Thank you.

Sincerely,

____________

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