A few months back I agreed to be interviewed by the podcast Criminal Perspectives.
This is the first time I have ever been interviewed by “the media.” When I was in county jail I was asked if I wanted to be interviewed by KXLY 4 and the Spokesman Review. But back then I was kinda sorta broken and trying to talk to anyone about anything was a bit if a challenge. Let alone speaking to a reporter about the harms I caused.
Now that, years later, I have finally put my brain together and have the wherewithal to speak about the harms I’ve caused, I doubt KXLY 4 and the Spokesman Review even know who I am. I feel a need for taking public accountability for my actions, however, I no longer have a mainstream media venue for doing so.
Part of my desire to start this blog and one my reasons for being interviewed by Criminal Perspectives is a direct result of this need. Furthermore, I see this as an opportunity to speak about the collateral damage which is caused by the PIC and the criminal (in)justice system. I believe punitive systems cause more harm than they prevent and transformative/restorative practices are necessary if we are ever going to transform our society into one where harm can be interrupted before it is caused.
The process of the interview was interesting to say the least. I had to call in to Criminal Perspectives and record 20 minutes of conversation at a time for roughly an hour and a half. I had to open some very painful boxes in my head, while also taking care of myself in the public space of the unit dayroom. Balancing all that was extremely difficult.
Thankfully, I had planned ahead and scheduled a phone call with Megan (the Awesome) afterward and let some of my acquaintances know I would need their support after I got off the phone.
This backfired horribly. One of those acquaintances took the opportunity to push up on me and try and incite a violent conflict between us because I was emotionally fragile in that moment
Thankfully, I was able to handle it gracefully. It was certainly a well timed attempt to get me to act against my values. Of course people arbitrarily trying to drag me down to their level is a part of my normal. In prison we call it “Crab Bucket Syndrome.”
This is the context I figured out how to be an okay person in, reclaimed my sanity in, and am now trying to find my way back to the real world from.
I hope I was able to really show up in the interview. I feel like I was able to resist the urge to perform, but (of course) I have not been able to listen to the interview itself so I have no way of knowing what I sounded like as I spoke.
If you’re interested in hearing me tell my story, or are simply curious as to what my voice sounds like, check it out.