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      Pen Pals

      Dispatches from our prison correspondent

      By Bert Burykill Apr 5, 2014

      Off Parole and Free at Last

      After ten years of being either in prison or on parole, our prison correspondent finally has the government off of his back—no more parole office waiting rooms, no more piss tests, no more check-ins from the Man.

      By Bert Burykill Apr 5, 2014
      By Bert Burykill Mar 21, 2014

      Rap Was My Lifeline in Prison

      I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours rapping, talking about rap, and listening to cassette tapes when I was an inmate. Without Ol' Dirty Bastard, Kool Keith, and Bootsy Collins, I really would have gone insane.

      By Bert Burykill Mar 21, 2014
      By Bert Burykill Feb 8, 2014

      A Decade in the System

      When I went to jail ten years ago I knew it'd be tough. Many people told me that I'd ruined my life, but how could I accept that when I was only 23? Today it's become much more of a reality, but I refuse to throw in the towel just yet.

      By Bert Burykill Feb 8, 2014
      By Bert Burykill Dec 27, 2013

      Guilty Until Proven Innocent

      The most ridiculous notion civilians have about the legal system is that the accused are "innocent until proven guilty." Actually, thanks to high bails and other absurdities, you can spend a long time in jail before anyone convicts you of any wrongdoing…

      By Bert Burykill Dec 27, 2013
      By Bert Burykill Nov 8, 2013

      Screwed by Anti-Gun Laws

      Gun violence in a huge problem in a lot of bad neighborhoods, but sometimes, aggressive antigun laws just end up putting people who never had any intention of committing a violent crime in prison for long-ass periods of time. At least, that's what happene…

      By Bert Burykill Nov 8, 2013
      By Bert Burykill Sep 6, 2013

      Starve Yourself Free

      Inmates in California just ended their hunger strike against conditions in solitary confinement after two months, and the fact that they starved themselves for that long as a protest shows you how cruel and unusual prisons' shit has gotten.

      By Bert Burykill Sep 6, 2013
      By Bert Burykill Jun 30, 2013

      Piss Testing Is a Failure

      It seems to me like they always pick on the people who are already down when it comes to intrusive nonsense like mandatory drug-testing, so the criminals got it first, but it's becoming more apparent to me that this is a big hustle, and it's not just for…

      By Bert Burykill Jun 30, 2013
      By Bert Burykill Jun 21, 2013

      The Guys Who Really Should Be Locked Up

      You might think that someone who's been locked up a lot like me might have more sympathy for inmates, regardless of what their crime is, but I doubt that I do. When I hear a guy sitting next to me in group say he just did 31 years, I really don't want to…

      By Bert Burykill Jun 21, 2013