BEYOND BARS: There is Hope

By Robert L. Brown
San Luis, AZ

There exists so much frustration, as to a loss of light, with a sense of darkness trying to engulf one’s light, being an individual in prison means living daily on a treacherous, at times torturous terrain between doubt and faith, despair and hope.

Merely, this is a mild depiction of what one feels in dealing with the enormous lack of legal resources within the Arizona prison system, unable literally to do any type of legal research, in hopes of any opportunity, big or small, for whatever case, civil or criminal, prayerfully hoping to prevail on any level.

The paralegals venomously refuse to provide anyone with case laws or any type of meaningful legal research, on anything relative and/or relevant to one’s case, no matter how colorful one’s claim may be, leading to a possible exoneration or just a conviction being overturned, due to a mere technicality.

This dark bleakness embedded in the paralegal service provided by the Arizona prison system, makes one wonder who is actually benefiting from this, the individual who does not stand a chance with this enormous disparity, removing any chance of light to shine in this dark, negative environment of prison, which gets to profit now enormously from one, laborious existence and of course I cannot forget, the money one may have to spend for new clothes, your owning leasing and/or renting because you can’t take it home, their logo on it (ADC) marked up 300%, plus boxers, socks, pants, t-shirts, etc. on which they make pennies on the dollar selling it to Keete Commissary, then to us, unless one wants to wear used, dingy, stained, sometimes torn clothing.

One may have a better chance of hope with the jailhouse lawyer, who is for the most part going to help with confidence, getting you back in the courtroom, even if he must do some creative writing in your legal brief, because of the empathy he has for one, knowing all too well how unbalanced the scales of justice can be.

This jailhouse lawyer knows the unfairness of how the police sometimes circumvent laws in one’s arrest, the underhanded tactics used in your prosecution at times, again, the empathy comes into play since he has failed in getting himself out, he will now try to do with diligence, give a chance in hopes to be free of this prison, a possible blessing for this jailhouse lawyer somewhere in life’s journey.

There is still hope. ■

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