I wonder a lot about what the future will hold, how I will react and what I will be doing, when I finally enter the world after over two decades in prison. I wonder can I cope or am I institutionalized? What will I do with my new found freedoms? Will I be able to live, love and learn like a regular person or am I too jaded from being in here so long? It is really something for me to contemplate and something I have spent many nights thinking about long and hard. I have a plan though and I have spent every waking moment since around 2002 going over and adjusting my plan as I continue to prepare myself for my eventual release.
I would say I have learned my lesson about committing crimes and I have paid a tremendous price for my actions. In retrospect I would hardly say selling pot and LSD to college students is worth 25 years of my life, but that is what the powers that be said was the punishment that fit my crime, so who am I to complain? That does not stop me from questioning the system and how it is set up. Even so, I would not trade the person I am today for whom I was back then. I like who I am. I have accomplished a lot and I have set goals, worked towards them and completed them. That is what I will continue to do when I leave the prison environment behind. By setting goals and accomplishing them while in here I have set the standard for what I expect of myself for the rest of my life.
I think I have prepared myself as much as I can, even more than I could have hoped for, for my future life outside these fences. I have never been an overtly violent person, but I know I am not the same naive or even innocent about the world young man that I was when I came in. I grew up in the upper middle class suburbs ofAmericaand had a distorted view of the world due to my suburban upbringing, which has drastically changed with my submersion into the ghetto prison culture of our country’s correctional facilities.
Because today that’s what prison really is, a ghetto. The ideals and values or unvalues of the street and ghetto dominate in here. No matter what you hear or what the movies romanticize about, there is no honor among thieves and here at the low security prison where I reside, the worst of the worst criminal scum, value wise exist. At least at the higher level institutions you know what to expect. It is more black and white. More violent of course but easier to navigate because dudes go more with their ideals, that are set in stone. You can predict how they will act. Here it is a clusterfuck of whatever.
But I have managed to dodge the pitfalls and traps that I have encountered, both in the higher security institutions and here. I have tried to stay focused so I can accomplish what I have set out to do and I believe I have done a very good job, if I do say so myself. Not that I am looking for any type of recognition. All I am looking for is the opportunity to pursue what I want to pursue when I get out and to make a living from it. But that is a story yet to be written, although I have the outline already done. I just have to fill in the details of the tale and I am looking forward to moving on to that part of my life, which I will tackle confidently and assertively just as I have every other aspect of my existence.
Seth Ferranti has been called “the most potent voice of the streets” and writes for www.gorillaconvict.com, the premier publisher of hard-edge and brutally real true crime stories. Check out his newest book- The Supreme Team: The Birth of Crack and Hip-Hop, Prince’s Reign of Terror and the Supreme/50 Cent Beef Exposed, available from Gorilla Convict Publications and www.gorillaconvict.com for $19.95.