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Letter: Expect change? Provide better prison conditions

A sign outside Her Majesty's Penitentiary.
A sign outside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. — Telegram file photo

I saw the headline in The Telegram about Her Majesty’s Penitentiary on July 26, “Surely we can do better.”

I’m wrote a letter about HMP a few years ago, about how bad it was, ’cause I was there. And all I got on social media was “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

For someone who’s never spent a day in jail, it’s easier for them to text than be compassionate.

In HMP, you’ve got no cellphone, no cigarettes. There’s a TV, three channels, and you’ve got 20 guys on a cell block arguing over what to watch. Remember now, they’re coming down off drugs, alcohol, whatever. It isn’t easy. With no choice of decision, there it be — HMP.

I’m wrote a letter about HMP a few years ago, about how bad it was, ’cause I was there. And all I got on social media was “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

I’ve had friends who used to work there. I’ve got friends who work as sheriff’s officers at the courthouse. I’ve got a friend with Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Serious Crimes Unit, now retired. My friends own a franchise restaurant in Newfoundland. And this is after I’ve spent 18 years in penitentiaries across Canada. Actual time in: 18 years.

A good environment creates change. I’ve changed. I’m rehabilitated. So can inmates at HMP.

Stop talking about HMP. Start doing!

HMP — Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. The Queen would be embarrassed.

Compassion creates change and rehabilitation.

Mike Ince

St. John’s

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