Why did a jail cell have to be my fate?
Jail is hell within the confines of time,
I grieve because I was deceived, but now it’s too late-
Lord please have mercy and press rewind.
On the streets I was rough and lived life without fear,
I didn’t give a f**k and dared you to test me-
But now learning to care, because my enemies are near,
It took being locked up to respect being free.
It seems that I was born to be an inmate,
While growing up, all conceivable odds were stacked against me-
I grew up convinced that being incarcerated was my fate,
And when they locked me up they threw away the key.
Change is a strange word when you don’t believe you can,
Double life means my son will serve time too-
This is because I wasn’t around to be a man,
Born to serve time is what I was destined to do.
Robert L. Horton
Incarceration is the systematic removal of black and brown men from their families and productive lives. The rate of incarceration for non white men is nearly double that of white men. Are the circumstances for men of color that vastly different from white men that criminality occurs more frequently in that specific demographic?
Of course not! The fact is that many black and brown offenders do not have the means to obtain legal counsel that is invested in actually arguing their case fully. The fact is that many black and brown offenders are more “accessible” because of the urban areas that many often reside. The ‘reservations’ allow for easy round up, whereas rural desolation that often harbor white offenders keep criminal activity hidden from plain sight.
However, new legislation called the Smarter Sentencing Act, may be effective in reducing excessive sentences for minimal offenses.