Letter from Johnny : 4-22-2020

Today I contemplated the act of suicide because I am being punished, based on a correctional officer’s dishonesty. For five decades I’ve been incarcerated, I’m serving life without the possibility of parole : a living death sentence.

Since the age of nine (I’m now 54 years of age), I’ve been under California’s penal System ; and since the age of nineteen, I’ve been incarcerated in California’s worst Level 4 prisons… And while I don’t need to tell you about the conduct of those who make up the population, it is the human beings that make up the staff that you would expect to be of proper conduct, but unfortunately this is by no means always the case.

A system of rehabilitation must be fair and impartial, or else it’ll only perpetuate the distrust that has far too long been a cancer in the overall rehabilitative process of growth and necessary success.

I consciously think of our being in here as being part of a community : a unified body of individuals, and the people of this community is like any other community… And more importantly we must not think of ourselves as prisoners, by not treating each other like prisoners. Therefore, putting ourselves in a position to be seen and treated as human beings who are no longer the crimes they committed.

While I understand the system of incarceration, it is the overall psychology of the system that is self defeating : an “us and them system” is counterproductive in every way of race and gender inequality… Treating someone inhumane for any reason cannot be justified by way of perception, philosophy, ideology or by way of criminalization.

War of any kind is unnecessary and unjustified ; it does not, and cannot establish peace! Killing someone for any reason is a direct contradiction to our so called being civilized… We domesticated the wolf but yet, we ourselves continue to hunt and kill. We incarcerate human beings instead of helping them develop a different means : being a productive part of our communities by way of creating an equal playing field… And that equality must be a part of this rehabilitative community.

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