From my knowledge of the second look legislation and the requirements to petition, it serves a great opportunity for those of us who have already determined use in our incarceration as a means of better ourselves.
Even more than that, I believe that it’s an even better opportunity for those of us who have lost all hope of regaining our freedom and acceptance into society. Regardless of the prison system being identified as a place of “correction,” there are very few chances of lasting rehabilitation and in most cases, these chances are only given to the “privileged.” By the time we may have a chance at rehabilitation, it’s usually towards the end of our sentence where it only serves as another responsibility that we must juggle along with the task of building an entire new life.
Personally, I believe that nothing is impossible and success depends on a person’s willingness to act in any given situation. All of the regulations that come with petitioning for a second look are useful in some aspects, but for those who have committed a crime at the age of 26 or older, it only serves as an unnecessary obstacle, as your age when you committed your crime is irrelevant to who you are today. They should only require 10 years as well.
As far as staying charge-free goes, I definitely believe that “keeping your nose clean” is a discipline that will only make an individual more productive. There are some situations where we may be unfairly treated in order to sabotage our chances at a successful homecoming, but any system that cannot protect the ones it is supposed to govern will fall of its own accord. The temporary setbacks would be nothing compared to ultimate elevation of the individual. Unfortunately, I don’t currently meet the qualifications of being charge free for 5 years, but through my disciplinary infractions, I’ve become more disciplined in my own actions which have both kept me out of trouble and made me productive in other areas. Second look legislation is a great opportunity for all of us, even if we can’t see it.
My name is Shaveek Pittman, and I am currently incarcerated at Lawrenceville Correctional Center, and my projected release date is in 2026. Change is right around the corner!
“And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.” – James Baldwin
This quote spoke volumes to my heart because it clarifies the dilemma that we face in our country today and it encourages us not only to make change where it is needed, but to accept each other for who we are. So many mistakes were made in the past that we continue to perpetuate today through hidden (not so hidden) emotional conflict. It’s very difficult, and pretty much impossible to fix any problem while you persist in creating more. If we choose to judge others for their shortcomings, it takes our focus off of ourselves and puts an even heavier burden on them. There is no love in that, just conflict and eventually the line that separates right from wrong becomes non existent. Change is needed and everyone plays a part in that transformation. By dealing with others in love – not only are we acting in our true nature, but we become a light that reveals what’s in the hearts of others; giving them an opportunity to be a part of that much needed change that transforms a divided nation into a whole one. External peace means nothing when we still have animosity under the surface. But when we can see the lives of others as nothing separate from our own lives, integration becomes not only possible but inevitable.
My name is Shaveek Pittman and I am currently in Lawrenceville Correctional Center. I lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia for about 5 or 6 years. I have had quite a few different experiences since moving to VA from New Jersey, and this is why I can relate so well to this quote from Malcolm X that I chose for this assignment.
This quote from Malcolm X that I chose says: “It is only after the deepest darkness, that the greatest joy can come; it is only after slavery and prison, that the sweetest appreciation can come.”
It is self explanatory what is being said here, but still so many people feel as though they can understand what prisoners, minorities and everyone else suffering from some form of poverty are going through – simply because they read a book or heard about it from another source. The truth is: unless you have fallen under this category yourself, it is highly unlikely that you will ever truly understand the struggle that those who are at the bottom of society must endure.
For all of those people who can relate to these difficult circumstances, the meaning of this quote brings us hope to keep pushing forward, because your time of success and liberation are inevitable. It may be difficult to see this through the thick darkness that permeates the world we live in, but all it takes is just a little patience, a little perseverance and every step of the way becomes much clearer.
This invisible line we have drawn between the upper class and the lower classes is totally dependent on the lower class’ willingness to subject ourselves to the ways of the world. For example, there are many blacks who would agree that in terms of jobs and careers, we will always get “the short end of the stick,” unless we are privileged enough to be given an opportunity to establish ourselves in this corporate America.
The problem with this outlook will always be that – until we understand that this country was built on freedom, justice and equality, there will continue to be roadblocks everywhere we go. These roadblocks may have been set up in the interests of those who seek to control the masses, but it’s actually an indicator that we all do not have to walk the same paths in order to be prosperous and to free ourselves from whatever obstacles stand in our way.
– Shaveek Pittman Contributing Writer | Fredericksburg, Virginia #1870834
Racism can be over come and by nature is not able to establish the human race. I am not one who experienced much racism openly but have felt many of the after effects of the hatred that stems from racism. As long as people continue to keep the mindset that one race is superior, to another none will be able to reach their highest capacity for growth.
In fact each and every one of us are needed to support each other so that we can become what we truly are, which is ONE race. I truly have hope for changes within the system, that they will improve all of our living conditions but unless these changes touch the hearts of those who have had to endure mistreatment through these growing pains, no real change can be made. It all starts with you.
My name is Shaveek Pittman and I am currently incarcerated at Lawrenceville Correctional Center.
-Shaveek Pittman Contributing Writer | Virginia #1870834
My name is Shaveek Pittman and I am currently incarcerated at Lawrenceville Correctional Center in VA.
My view of ‘what’s free’ is the choice that each and every one of us have to receive all that life has to offer, or to be closed off from what we call blessings. Sometimes it’s real easy to get caught up in our present circumstances and to forget that if you just let go of all of the emotions and the mindset that is suppressing your truest abilities and causing you to feel as though you must suffer all of the time, nothing could hold you back.
I believe that anyone who decides that they will no longer allow anything to imprison them within their minds, is free in every sense of the word. This is my deepest conviction of what it is to be free. Thank you for the opportunity to express these thoughts, and for listening.