Few Opportunities for Today’s Convict

By Rico Sims 

Here it is in the year of 2009, and the convict and inmate of today is being treated the same as yesteryear.
When I say yesteryear, I can take this back as far as the early 60s. As an ex convict who served nine years in California prisons, I have seen very little change for the convict of today.
I got out in 1976 with $200 in my pocket from the state. It is still the same. There is no inflation for a convict.
When I got out, I went straight to work for Coca Cola. This was a program, which among others, provided meaningful jobs just for the convict. But now there is nothing for the convict.
That leaves an almost 99 percent chance they will return to prison unless they have family members or know someone with money or a business and have a very cool parole officer.
When I left prison, you had to have a job or register in school. Today, when it’s time for you to parole, all you need is an address. Any address, such as 5th and Main or 6th and Broadway. It’s just something to put on paper.
Today’s reform is five years felony probation. And just think, if you violate the terms of probation, you will be extended. Some of you will never get off of paper. Why? It’s simply because you don’t have Jesus working for you.
I know; no one can tell me what to do; I’m grown. I said the same thing for years. And all it got me was more time. Oh did I tell you that I had to do five years felony probation, along with fines, peeing in a cup monthly and attending a group weekly, for which I had to pay out of my pocket?
Remember, sooner or later, you’re going to have to mind somebody. It took me a while to realize that I couldn’t live my life right without prayer. Prayer changes things.
After spending almost half of my life behind bars, I am now almost 60 years of age. I do have the knowledge of how to stay out of prison. B-36607 is my prison number, which I gave back to them in 1977.
Though I’ve had little scrapes here and there, I avoid all madness and manage to have my behind off the streets before dark.