Must Read: Man Given 37.5 Yrs for Selling One Gram of Crack Describes Life in Prison
Darrell Padgett was given 37.5 years in prison for selling one gram of crack cocaine. After the Fair Sentencing Act was signed into law, Darrell used the legal expertise he’d gained in prison to make his own arguments for early release. But Darrell says that thousands of other inmates are unable to use the Fair Sentencing Act to their advantage, because they need expensive lawyers to make arguments, and judges set the standards too high for them to be released.
In the essay below, Darrell describes life behind bars. He says he wrote the article during his last few days of incarceration so he could never forget what it was like. It’s a moving essay and we encourage you to read it and share it with your friends. It reminds us that inmates have souls like the rest of us, and that some deserve a second chance once they’ve paid their debt to society. It’s not a coincidence that black people are incarcerated far more than everyone else, experts say that there is a direct link to slavery.
By: Darrell Padgett
ENTERING THE DOORS TO THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Please! Allow yourself to imagine as though these words were actually yours. I wish that I could have an opportunity to eat a decent meal. The constant yelling, even at night time. There is no respect, here! The very loud noise that is echoing across the room from the slamming of the dominoes is driving me crazy. I want to go outside, but I have to wait until I am told that I can do so. I can’t help but to think about my woman. I wish that I were with her now. I have to get these thoughts of her out of my head. My kids! My family! I get emotional when I think of them. I wish that I had another chance to live this life over again. How stupid could I have been.
Man! I wish that this guy would leave out of here so that I can have some time alone. There is not enough space in here for the both of us. I would give anything for some solitude. I can’t believe this, I’m trying to use the toilet, and this dude is watching me. Because of my safety, I have to arrange my chair in a position where I am able to watch my back. Mindful, this is a violent atmosphere. My friend just died in my arms last week. And others are being murdered often!
These guys think they own this television. I was watching it! They disrespected me! Should I result in violence? The means of violence are accessible. Everybody seems to be watching me now. But, if I act in accordance with what is expected of me by my peers, my destiny will be longer. And, if I do nothing, will I be considered weak? What should I do? I can’t believe that people actually conduct themselves in such animalistic ways. I need to find a place where I can just get away from all of this madness so I can have some solitude. That–however–is impossible! Why, my brother? Because you have just entered the mind of a person who is imprisoned. Mass incarceration–let’s end it!
Darrell Padgett served more than 20 years in federal prison for a non-violent drug offense. Currently, Darrell is in his senior year as a university student studying Criminal Justice. Additionally, Darrell is the owner of Insight Into Prison Consultants. He may be contacted via his facebook address below.
Owner at Insight Into Prison Consultants/Paralegal ServicesStudied Criminal Justice at Columbia Southern University