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Am I Institutionalized?

Taji Lee

My name is Taji Jemal Lee & I'm a first time, nonviolent, low level drug offender sentenced to 30-60yrs! I'm currently in my 18th yr of incarceration & forever fighting! I frequently write informative pieces for prisoners about prisoners! I believe that institutionalization comes from the repetitiveness of incarceration (obviously)! I wouldn't consider myself as institutionalized bcuz I've maintained a structured existence my entire 18yrs. my infatuation with the law has afforded me success and responsibility in aiding others to freedom! (I've overturned (3)life sentences on appeal on top of numerous other accomplishments criminally n civilly)the lack of motivation in institutionalized prisoners derives from the structured warehousing of human beings by the department of corrections & the state of Pennsylvania! limited to prohibited programming for longterm offenders, unnecessary restrictions on educational opportunities, comical mental health assistance & all around depressing environment! sadly, part of the blame falls at the feet of the prisoner! bad habits are learned behavior & require the desire to break! if you'd rather keep up with the kardashians instead of your children, freedom, or relationship with God, the negative results are yours & thus your own cross to bare! I compare others to myself bcuz at 23 & ½ yrs old when I was incarcerated, I could have chosen everything that was nothing, but instead I chose to live, be productive, educate myself & others, maintain relationships with my children, etc! I still stand for count, have a favorite tray(tacos), chase the phone, & have indulged in unproductive behaviors while incarcerated..but everyday I make the conscious decision to do better to be better! the choice begins where it ends..with us the prisoner! captivity is a cruel & brutal existence that will never end bcuz of its lucrativeness! to break the mold of institutionalization, first me must change ourselves! the devil is in the details

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