Ironically enough today we were locked down due to a multi- man fight in one of our closed custody units here at Walla Walla Penitentiary.
As I sat in my cell writing a letter I turned my TV to the local news station. As I wrote I would periodically look up at the screen. I just so happened to see flashing along the bottom of the screen that our facility was locked down due to a riot.
This incident happened not even a whole 3 hours before the local news station had already broadcast the event.
It’s apparent that the chaos that happens in here is a must broadcast event. Whatever the reason why must it always be some negative event that illuminates the Penitentiary.
Granted there is a lot of violence that occurs within these walls and fences but that is not all that happens.
Last year Walla Walla Community College graduated over 20 inmates through various college classes that were offered here at the facility.
Yet no one wants to broadcast that nor bring light to the possibility that maybe just maybe there is more than just riots, staff assaults, and sexual assaults that occur in prison.
The fact of the matter is the Department of Corrections doesn’t receive as much funding for positive programming as they do for security and violence within the system.
Something about this picture isn’t right? This year alone multiple Associate Art Degree courses and other vocational classes were cut due to the lack of funding.
How can DOC expect us as inmates to take the initial steps to better ourselves if they keep cutting the positive programing out of there systems?
For instance I used my platform in Toastmasters to create a video speaking on the positive programing that inmates with excessive time are getting involved with to re- create who they are and better themselves.
I had my mom put the video onto YouTube. com to help bring awareness to the fact that Washington state does not have a parole board for offenders and that there are some men in here that if given a second chance they would be successful members of society.
After creating this video I was put into the segregation units under investigation that I compromised staff and made this video illegaly.
Which there reasoning for doing so was the fact that someone in some office somewhere wasn’t aware that this video was created and that the production of it was questionable.
Upon there investigation they concluded that I had went through all proper channels in order to create and send out the video. I was then informed that the program Toastmasters would be discontinued because of this incident and is no longer an available program to participate.
My personal belief is that DOC responded in retaliation format due to the fact they were unable to receive credit for the content of the video. Therefore they discontinued the program to prevent the possibility of another person voicing the fact that we are more than just an inmate with a number we are men with a story.
If you would like to contact me and discuss this topic further you can contact me at:
1313 N. 13 AVE
Walla Walla WA 99362
Or on JPay.com