This video, part I in a series, represents the culmination of the combined efforts of James Ridgeway – who owns the copyright, Pat Bliss – who assisted in the filming, our wonderful interpreter – who requested anonymity, but did an awesome job – and myself – who turned the knobs and punched the buttons.
My original intention was to provide the interpretation in the form of subtitles, but I quickly became aware that our interpreter’s voice-over was so expressive and packed with emotion, that subtitles simply wouldn’t do justice to the feeling of the piece.
This stands alone as one of the single most powerful interviews I have ever seen.
Pat Bliss has informed me that Felix has recently been transferred to a camp with other Deaf, and has not again, experienced the trauma expressed in this video.
Please note: On the right hand side of the control bar, you will find a button that allows for full screen viewing. If you view this video in the embedded mode – not full screen – you will need to move your mouse off the page. That will cause the control bar to disappear, allowing you to read the captions.
Anybody who’s on this site will agree that this article applies to the Deaf inmate, just as it does to the youth offender. My thanks – as usual – to CrimeDime.com for doing a wonderful job in exposing this issue.
A real commitment to improving the juvenile system requires “assessment” centers like this one to truly assess young offenders for past victimization rather than routinized criminal justice processing. Image: CrimeDime
Plenty of research has established the link between victimization and offending. But establishing the fact that the link exists is easier than understanding why it happens. Even harder? Figuring out what to do about it.
Early identification of child victims provides a mechanism to intervene with families and children, particularly when there is risk of continued victimization.
Accurate identification of adolescent victimization, particularly when youth enter the juvenile justice system, can ensure that adolescents get resources to address the victimization that may be the root cause of the offending.
Here is the third letter from this CA Deaf inmate. You, the reader, read of hopelessness and tragedy in the beginning. But, I told him the truth of a possibly brighter future, and he responded. In each letter, he gets better emotionally – as you will see.
I edited it a little to insure his safety, and to give it consistency.
I received a beautiful card from some of your friends, you will never fully understand how much and important your letters and cards mean to me.
In prison, staff and officers and Doctors never do as the law say, they do as they wish. Inmates in prison are considered nothing and Deaf inmates are treated and considered less-than-nothing. In prison, something must happen to me before officers and Doctors will help me or protect me. I told a Doctor of my living situation and he say the only thing they can do is place me in ad-seg – the hole.
It’s my first time incarcerated and my last. I parole **, 2014. I want to see that day so I’ll suffer in silence. Before I didn’t know God, throughout my life I’ve attempted suicide 4 times. Being rejected at birth, growing up deaf and never fitted in anywhere, I now know if I’m gonna make it, I need God. I’ve never been able to trust or depend on another human being. I’m not looking for riches or material things, all I want is someone to love and who will love me. So after 25 years in prison, your prayers and letters give my joy, you give me the will to keep going. Having conversation [by letter] with you and knowing you care a little about me as a person, helps me see some things differently about people around me. Please write soon, your forever friend. ***
This is another inmate letter we received from H.E.A.R.D. Like so many letters we publish, the grammar and usage are difficult to decipher, but the content is powerful and profound. We thank Talila Lewis and H.E.A.R.D. for helping us to bring attention to the agony that is the day to day existence of the Deaf inmate.
somebody always fun of alone deaf dumb sign insult me , i just ignore people , me sometime fear very danger prison somebody have weapon no reason , i just depend me carful watch out back gang people ,i cant hear not safe people crowded , i very frustrate my life in prison , alone 8 year no friend just avoid of people ,i just keep cool my self , ged i need more improve reading and writing, teach don’t have interpret for deaf , i need transfer other place prison deaf people for safe myself gang people i don’t involve friend gang i like look find friend for good people Christ person that all. thank you you listen my story my life hope file court about deaf .
"If you think it is so easy to be a critic, so difficult to be a poet or a painter or film experimenter, may I suggest you try both? You may discover why there are so few critics, so many poets." - Pauline Kael
My Life of Crime, Murder, Missing People and such! Above all else, never forget the victim, that the victim lived, had a life and was loved. The victim and their loved ones deserve justice, as does society.
Step One to Solving any Problem is Admitting a Problem Exists