Enough is Enough

Author: Mario Cavin

Most of us put our lives in the hands of an attorney when we caught our cases. We assumed because they represented us that their loyalties were with us. Most of us didn’t find out the harsh reality until it was too late. And when we repeated this process with our appellate counsel, again, wrongly believing they had our best interest in mind.

At what point do we stop placing our lives in the hands of others? Including these so-called advocacy groups who boast about being “pro criminal justice reform.” As with our attorneys, we don’t know where these groups’ loyalties lay. We don’t know their true motivations or hidden agendas. What we hear isn’t always what we see. Those who say they speak for us don’t want to listen to us.

Don’t get me wrong, a few of these grass-roots organizations do have good intentions and want to see change as much as we do, but if their approach is ineffective and we can offer better solutions, why ignore the message simply because of the messenger? Yes, we’re in prison. Yes, most of us committed an offense to get us here, but that doesn’t mean we’re not capable of knowing what’s best for ourselves.

So the time has come for us to stop placing our lives in the hands of others and stand up for our freedom. We have to take matters into our own hands and support Second Look Sentencing, Ending JIWOP, Productivity Credits, and Good Time. Don’t think our voices don’t matter. It matters more than you can imagine. Just ensure it’s being heard by those stubborn legislators who don’t play well with the kids across the street and just want to take their ball and go home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mario Calvin (Prison No. 326204) is serving a 37-year sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections and is housed at the Macomb Correctional Facility, 34625 26 Mile Road, Lenox Township, Michigan 48048. Mario is a Certified Paralegal, a National Lifers of America, Inc. Board Member, and an active member of The Adolescent Redemption Project (TARP).

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