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By Karl Williams

I'm proud of the work you're doing, I'm a victim of bad laws, lawyers and sentencing guidelines. As a prisoner in Nevada State Prison, a paralegal, trained behind the walls of NSP, I visited and took forms (1983)'forms and such to prisoners on death row for almost three years of the five I was there. I'm one of the only men to study and research the law full-time for five straight years, and I am the only man to have two men released due to my efforts and attention to details of the law. I also had a small plot of gardening area 10 by 7 that I farmed for three years.

I smoked with the U-Haul killers just before they died. And listened to eerie music play over every radio and TV in the prison when they executed one of them. I met so many people dying, either because of the sentence or because of their souls. It was a travesty to see a young man enter the yard of a max prison because he possessed marijuana in a zero tolerance state end up doing 36 months. In a place with no mercy or quarter, no man can live through that and not be changed, and in very bad way. 

It's not always the time and treatment but sometimes it's just wrong. What we do to our people in the name of justice is wrong. We are not just cattle to be manipulated at will by a government of the unjust and uncaring over what their prisons produced in me, something I am still struggling with and will be for the rest of my life. Trust me, but aside from that, we must abandon the senseless incarceration for victimless crimes. 

Not only that, I believe there's a lot we can do to change the face of justice in this country, and yes it involves information sharing and amendments to ensure that every American released from prison is protected and given the same rights every other American taxpayer is entitled to automatically. We need to level the playing field for ex-felons and help people like me and many millions of others who are obstructed in our effort to earn, provide and gain the same jobs, grants and loans, denied merely because they have been convicted of a crime in this country.

How so many can cast a blind eye on this reminds me of the days of slavery when it was normal to see such things and none cast a second glance, as it is with ex-felons today. We must stop individuals in positions of power from legally using an ex-felons’ record to routinely deny anything that is given to another citizen of this country, and stop information sharing used to deny anything this country has to offer other taxpayers. Information must be filtered to relate to the position at hand and identify other factors that unduly prejudice us ex-felons.

These collateral consequences are much more damaging as the years go by as the full effect of this prejudice exposes its self. Well, keep up the great work and let's stop the madness. I know I was there from the inside looking out.

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