They take away our soul


I sometimes feel like those old slaves toiling in the fields. Day in and day out the same hard grind until your body can’t go anymore.

My singing is my writing, my words are my voice.

Sometimes I sing loudly, other times I scream.

Although our living quarters are drastically better than a shanti, I would love to trade living space. I would never trade a whipping for the tiny punishment we endure in prison. Sure, I gripe about prison but who wouldn’t? There’s no joy here. I’ve only met one man in prison who wanted to stay in prison, of course he was homeless and had a serious sexcharge. But even so, I could not agree with staying here. We are forced to work for free in Texas and we are only allowed to have phones and hair on our faces since a few years ago. This system not only wants to take away any inkling of manliness from you, this place wants to take away your soul. It seems they want you to be zombified to the point where you simply eat, sleep, shit – then repeat. T.V.’s and commissaries are pacifiers  – take that away and the babies cry. 

I’m crying for freedom.

I’m writing and in my own way, I’m crying for freedom.Our biggest fear is dying while in prison – secondly losing our mothers and children while in prison. We cry freedom- sure, some belong in this because of crimes committed. The sentencing for first time offenders is ridiculous for some of us. I was caught in that ‘Tough on crime’ policy. It did not matter what you had done in that era – you were getting a very long sentence. Some of us are still here – many of us have died along the way.


Obama stated ‘Twenty years is long enough for any crime’.

My statement is: ‘I’m innocent and been here 26 years – is that long enough’.

For the critics who say: ‘Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time’, I say: ”What about the poor and the innocent?’

Derrick L. Griffin, 10-01-2021