Thoughts by Jeremiah Riggs

I’ve been incarcerated since 2013 and I observe everything. Prison is a very judgmental environment. You are judged by everything; By who you hang with, whether you’re in a gang, what you’re in for, the whiteness of being white, and even the size of your commissary bag.
The reality is we are all here for something. Even if it’s not what we’ve been convicted of we have all made bad choices. It hurts the fibers of my being when guys pick on other guys for asking for medication for their mental health or guys with sex cases asking for help, because they’re innocent or not given a fair trial. Whether it’s murder, rape, or domestic battery… all crime is crime and everyone deserves a fair trial.

Some do legal work to make a living and think of themselves as lawyers, but won’t take a sex case because of the stigma, but will take a case where a woman is beaten, killed, and set on fire which is crazy right?
What would be lovely to see is our whole population come together to help change the way the legal system is currently working. Help to get rid of the bias, corruption, and political agendas. No one should have to die in prison as long as they’re doing their time consecutively or remorseful of their crime or changing their ways. Too many people are getting so many years and with Illinois not having a parole system it’s just the same as having a life sentence. It’s unacceptable for a mother to lose her son, a child to lose a father, and vice versa, because of the prisons being a warehousing empire instead of a department of corrections.

I’ve teamed up with ParoleIllinois, which is a group trying to get a parole system back to Illinois so well stop dying in here. I’m sad and angry, because unless things start changing I’m going to miss my twins growing up and all five of my kids birthdays, marriages, graduations, child births, and weddings. It’s all very depressing and angering too, because my family keeps telling me to place it in God’s hands and I’m just tired of hearing it. I mean do they expect God to do all the work? Maybe he is wanting some action on our end.

Now about this Covid-19 mess. Every time I turn on the news there are thousands dead or dying. People are losing their jobs and homes. Me being in prison, I’m the safest right now. They’ve had us quarantined for weeks and have been passed out KN95 masks and told us to wear them outside of our cells. It’s a scary time for everyone and with our President acting crazy all the time makes it even scarier. Be safe out there and be healthy.

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