My name is Antoinne Pitt and I’m 39 years of age, and from Portsmouth, Virginia. The problem that I could foresee with the second look legislation would be for those who have been discriminated against in regards to completing programs and trades. In the state of Virginia, the Department Of Corrections only allows offenders to complete a trade every 5 years. This is already an obstacle, and given the fact that offenders with lengthy sentences are placed on the back of the waiting list and those with shorter sentences are placed at the top, makes it nearly impossible to complete such trades and programs. So, in order for everyone to meet the criteria and the standard of Second Look legislation, every offender must be given equal opportunity if rehabilitation is judged on the merit of being infraction-free and completing the available trades and programs that are being offered.
Counselors and Unit managers are professionals who were hired by D.O.C and placed in these designated positions because they were deemed fit for the job. As an offender, these authoritative figures are people that we encounter nearly everyday. Professionals who can attest to our character and our behavior and should have the opinion on whether or not we are deemed fit for society. Counselors and Unit Managers that have exemplified professionalism in these positions should be able to give input on the court’s decision and make recommendations. Also if offenders can produce documentation showing that they signed up for available trades and programs then it should not be held against them for not completing such programs.
If this Second Look legislation became law, it would benefit me tremendously because not only am I innocent of a crime that I was convicted of, I did not use that as an excuse to self destruct. Instead, I utilized my time to be productive. Within a 20 year span, I have completed 2 trades and just about every program that D.O.C has to offer. I also created to curriculums of my own entitled Thinking With A Purpose and C.O.A.T (Countering Overdoses and Addiction Treatment). My beliefs are that violence and infraction stem from offenders having nothing to do or look forward to. In order to combat this, there needs to be more programs and incentives for offenders to work towards in order to have a second chance at freedom. Then, you will see a shift in behavior, and as a result, there will be less infractions.
The pros and cons of Second Look versus parole is the fact I feel the views and decision of a judge would be unbiased. Judges in my opinion are fair and impartial. The nature of the crime of which individuals were convicted of will not change, and the parole board has more often than not used this year after year as an excuse to deny offenders parole.
My name is Antoinne Pitt and I’m from Portsmouth, VA. I am a rapper, singer, songwriter and the author of Thinking With A Purpose and C.O.A.T (Countering Overdoses and Addiction Treatment). You can log on to www.infinitypublicationsllc.net and click on ‘author’ to see my bio. You can also sign my change.org petition as well check out my interview on Real Prison Talk Facebook live page and ‘From Prison To Promise’ podcast. Super School Heroes children’s book trilogy will be out in the near future. In closing, true freedom is reached only when the mind is freed of all mental restraints.