1153 East St. South
Suffield, CT 06080
Joseph Burgeson has spent
most of his adult life in prison, which is not a good thing. He finds society s
perceptions of what it's like to be caged up for years to comical, tragic, and really off
the mark. So he writes poetry, as a shot of eyewash for the jaundiced eye of revenge
through which society views prisons. Joseph Burgeson is a human being, and he wants all
people to be given a glimpse, if not an understanding, of what years in prison does to a
human being. Most people tell him that his poetry is too negative and emotionally violent,
which in turn tells him that he's reflecting rather well the prison experience.
My name is Joseph Burgeson, and I'm a 43-year-old prisoner of the State of Connecticut, serving a sixteen-year sentence for burglary, robbery, and escape. I'm a man who has spent 23 of the last 25 years in prison, and have been locked up more than I've been free since I was 13-years old.
I'm presently in a 12-Step recovery program here at the prison I'm in, MacDougall. I m doing very well at this point, having finally found ways to grow out of my insanity, the most obvious manifestation of which has been drug use/abuse, and am now working to effect my release from prison, which I'm also finding very hard,. I will, however, persist and persevere until it happens.
I've been writing poetry for some 20 years, but never really worked so hard at it as I have within the last year. My aim in writing about prison is to convey to people in society what prison does to a person, to people, to human beings like themselves, which is something that, despite its understandable thirst for revenge against criminals, society should be interested in, because the majority of these offenders will eventually be released among them again. And that is when and where the effects of years of Living in a prison will manifest themselves. It takes an almost superhuman effort to overcome oneself in a negative environment like prison. The various media like to point out the high recidivism rate for released offenders, while avoiding the obvious cause - prison itself.
But to realistically expect people who are already evidencing anti-social behaviors to overcome their problems while living in an environment that reinforces those behaviors is pure self-deception. Prison, by its very nature, ensures its own continued existence. I write to reveal this fact.
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Last Update 09/05/09