“ The Faces of Felons – An Intermittent Series”
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky
“There can be no high civility without a deep morality” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” Jesus
There is one thread that ties all people in prison together – whether State or Federal Prisoner: whether male or female, (or as does happen) a combination of both; Whether brown, black, white, yellow or red; be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist; Wiccan; Jewish, Atheist, Agnostic; something altogether different or altogether nothing at all’ no matter the charge, the socioeconomic background, or the levels of education – they (we) are all FELONS.
Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of people incarcerated in County jails throughout the country, but they are not included here. To an in a State of Federal prison you have to been convicted of a felony and sentenced to more than one year.
Those convicted of driving with a suspended license or getting drunk and breaking someone’s nose in a barroom brawl will need to find their own storyteller.
My apologies to all of them, but this space is reserved for the baddest of the bad, the worst of the worst, and (perhaps, too) the dumbest of the dumb – the convicted felon. What I am going to do from time to time is use this space to put faces on some of those felons who are a part of this world I inhabit.
Some of the faces belong to those who are familiar to part of my own daily life here; others may belong to people whose stories have been related to me. Some of the faces have made the papers due to their actions and become well known; others were well known before they became felons; most have fallen to this point in their lives with no public fanfare – their turmoil, chaos, shame and embarrassment shared with no one but their friends and families, which is quite enough of course since – in the end – they are the only ones who matter.
A few of the faces will be known to some of the people who are kind enough to put up with me – and my ramblings – and read these pages.
Some of the stories will be longer than others; some may make you laugh, others cry; one or two could possibly make you do both.
Perhaps there will be ne or more stories that may help you believe in the existence of God; at least one will surely help you believe that Satan walks among us on Earth.
Hopefully, some of the stories will reach your hearts and minds, and if nothing else – make you a little more aware of how precious freedom is and how quickly it can be taken away, along with everything else you own – and most importantly, everyone you love.
I can say that I am genuinely glad to have met some of these men I will tell you about, although none of us is especially thrilled with the circumstances through which we met.
Above all else, perhaps some of these stories will serve to remind us all – or educate us in the first place – that prisons are not just full of bad people. There exists a lot of good people too. People who have just done some bad things , or made bad decisions. Maybe our collective consciousness will gravitate towards a better way of dealing with our bad boys and girls; one that is more effective – and less costly – and serves society’s greater purpose of civility and is beneficial to felons, their families, and society as a whole.
Don’t get me wrong or think me naïve; there are some faces that should peer out from behind bars for a very long time – some perhaps for the rest of their lives. Some who, for whatever quirk of fate or genetic defect; regardless of how someone was – or wasn’t raised; some exist who are too violent; too predatory, too evil, and too dangerous for the average, hardworking, generally law abiding citizen of this great country to even imagine, let along be exposed to, and society does deserve to be protected from these people.
While all of this is being explored and debated, I hope you enjoy the stories about some of the faces here. That you find them worth your time. And may I never see your face among the.
The first face belongs to Madison’s Daddy. . . so be sure you check back soon so I can tell you all about him.