Prison system setting inmates up for failure

Montgomery Advertiser Dec 10, 2015

Has the public ever realized that the very ones the parole board deems too dangerous to release are the very ones released with no conditions or supervision?

This is the case of many, such as myself, who received a 25-year sentence for the murder of my husband. I have served almost 24 years and have been considered for parole many times. My district attorney, Doug Veleska, has ensured my hearings were nothing less than dramatic – just like my trial. Of course, one would only have to take the time to see just where his theatrics have gotten him these days. 

I will end my sentence in a year and walk out the front gate of the prison, able to live anywhere I choose, no reporting or parole fees, no supervision – yet I am one of the ones not allowed to prepare to re-enter society through a transition period, such as work release or parole. What kind of system sets people up for failure?

When I entered the system, I furthered my education; however, I have been incarcerated so long that my trade is obsolete now. I am offered nothing other than the knowledge I seek out for myself to prepare me for all the changes in technology. I would love to have the opportunity to be able to work a job and adjust in a work release setting; however, I am only allowed to finish out my sentence and just be released. How is this the best thing for the offender or society?

I’m not looking for sympathy, just asking that someone take a look at what makes the most sense for everyone.

Michelle Bankston

Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women


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