State Prison Generated Mail

All right, Ted. I gave you and Dwight Abbott a chance, I really did. I read about your correspondence with him, with your feelings about the “criminal (in)justice system” and about his book I Cried, You Didn’t Listen. I read his letters to you about how he was abused as a child, about how he has had a stroke and is now in a wheelchair and on medication. I read about the harrowing time he’s spent in multiple youth detention facilities and the statistics he provides about recidivism and crime rates. I read a large portion of this zine attempting to be as open-minded as possible, trying to ignore any preconceptions I might have had about people serving consecutive life sentences in prison. I was doing a pretty good job, too, until I came to the part where he explains why he’s in jail. “Through my life,” he says, “there is very little I have not done to ‘offend society’–from stealing cars, robberies, assaults, rape, to several murders, before I grew old, less angry, much wiser.” And that, Ted, is where the two of you lost me completely. (Emma Healey)

Zine, Ted Forsyth,


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