T.J. Hope - Author & Poet 

     "It's not the cards life deals that makes you, it's the way you play them!"  

LOCKDOWN - Prospective of a Female Prisoner

by: TJ Hope

Lockdown is a word, I was forced to use
Constantly mentally, verbally and emotionally abused
Yes, all crimes and wrongs lead to punishments
I was just trynna make a dollar out of fifteen cents

But who says its wrong when you're providing for yours

Hustlin', stugglin' trying to knock down doors
Some of the things that are legally wrong are morally right
Like not letting our families starve without a fight

But the law doesn't give a damn about our reasons
Our hardships are labeled incurable like hideous diseases
Correctional facilities, they call them are where we are brought

Teaching us to be civil in society or so I thought
IS being civil being spoken to in any kind of way?
Or subsiding to a strip search on any given day?
Where the medical attention is so shady some end up dead
Damn, is this rehabilitation or is my anger being fed?

They say fifty percent of prisoners eventually return to prison
Don't they understand that this is not a conscious decision
The society we are supposedly being 'trained' to go live in
"Ex-con, please leave, we can't hire you, no you can't live here."
So again natural survival instincts kick in to play

We try to find ways to make it to another day
We try the legal ways and are so adequately refused
Lockdown is a word I was forced to use

When we first get here we're subjected to an initial interview
Like caged animals being studied with outlandish points of view
They poke and prod at us, tell us its our messed up mentality
Tell us we are bad, inhuman people that need to face reality
So we dig for that reality which adds to our stress
They blame it on the fact that I grew up fatherless
They may have a point because my childhood was rough
But when I went for counseling  my money wasn't long enough

So once again the cycle has begun
Incarcerated parents bring forth rebellious little ones
Society teaches that the more you have the more you are
Then they wonder why to obtain materials we go so far
We are here for correction and long term rehabilitation
Yet, it seems like we're getting injections of an 'I'm worthless' infection

Treated poorly regardless of conversation or situation

How can you change negative behavior with negative stimulation?

What's even worse is there's people here not even guilty

Got 'em here on a bullshit charge called conspiracy
This carries more time than the average crime
Someone's caught red-handed and says, "It's hers, it's not mine."
What makes their word bond? I still don't understand

What has happened to the justice in this so-called free land
I feel for those here wrongly accused
Lockdown is a word they've been forced to use

So I pass the time the best way I see fit

Viewed as an outsider because I'm not attracted to chicks
Walk around all day hand and hand
Been doing it so long one actually thinks she's a man
However you make it through is up to you
Some feel they gotta do what they gotta do
Then they leave prison angry and sexually confused
Haven't mentally, emotionally or spiritually grew

They say we think this way because of limited thoughts
That we are mad at the world because we got caught
I'm not mad at the world just some of the people in it
If you've been following me you should be able to feel it
I've learned how to live off twelve cents an hour salary

Learned how to get a spark from a razor and battery
In fact, a number of us are quite intelligent
You can't judge how I smell life until you sniff the scent

I agree with lengthy sentences for murderers and child molesters
But, check writers and drug offenders - "Come on your Honor, sir."
Giving five, ten years and up on a first time offense
They're letting the destroying of our nation slowly commence
Giving all of that time, when the true crime is clearly poverty
Wonder why a woman with five kids attemps a bank robbery
I've laid it all out here so don't get it confused
Many will find lockdown a work forced to be used