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    Truth & Wisdom from a Teen Prison Inmate

    Date: 07.19.11 | by a guest contributor.

    This guest article is written by Micah Neumann.

    I often sit and dream of where I could be at this moment, had I not taken for granted my freedom. If only I had taken notice of my ability to live with only logical restrictions, things would be different. Back then, however, I laughed at the laws I was expected to obey. Looking at them as if they were only futile attempts to keep me from doing what I wanted, when I wanted. Now, late, but still in time to change futures, I realize how wrong my actions were. I am left with the hope that my terrible example, and the horrible price I am paying for it, is enough to save you – the reader – from ever devastating your life as I did. A life of crime and reckless behavior, to be sure, will inevitably lead to sorrow. I am thankful to know, and wish to elaborate on, the beauty that comes with simply being alive, healthy, and free.

    Photo by Kevin Collins

    Prison walls are bland and boring. The white paint chips off of the cinder brick sometimes and leaves the place looking more like a medieval dungeon than anything else. There is a window, the width of a fist, that looks into a sea of fences and razor wire. Look out the window enough, and eventually you’ll start thinking God wrapped the earth in barbed wire. But, before you can ponder that, you’ll have to wipe the dripping sweat from your face. The cells are so hot the bricks sweat. The only water is from the steel sink and it’s hot. The food tastes like garbage, yet, there is never enough. The hunger they force on you is enough to make the garbage flavored meals taste all right, as the authorities swear by God that they are feeding you enough.

    The prison population is made up of (as you are always, or should always, be taught) the scum of society. They are loud, angry, moody, often uneducated, and chaotic. Anybody cast into their lair will learn that immediately. Then, the longer you are forced to share their cage, you begin to see the reason for their snarls and their barks. You realize that you have common ground with them, in their hatred of the maltreatment and those who bestow it. Deep inside, you fight to retain your sense of ethics and morals and all the while you yearn for tiny aspects of freedom; the ones you always took for granted. And, through painful suffering, it becomes clear how truly invaluable the outside world really is.

    Micah Neumann

    When prison is expressed in words, which is a difficult task, the listener is often left wondering about the reality of the situation. “Surely they cannot treat people like this,” they think. “Of course they did wrong, but this is crazy.” I’ve heard it time and time again, that my treatment is inhumane and that I must be exaggerating because, “they couldn’t possibly be that cruel.” But they are, and they can, and they do. And, they will continue to do so because prison is punishment, and they want that fact to be recognized.

    Now, I wish I had obeyed society’s simple laws, and appreciated my many rights. I wish I could walk outside at any given time and admire the world. I wish I could sleep without the lights on. I wish I could hug my family daily. I wish I could go to work or school, or even the corner store. I wish I could do these things, but I can’t. I can’t because instead I chose to rebel. I chose to seek foolish thrills and fast cash. I chose these sweating brick walls with my hard headed, thoughtless actions, and, for God’s sake, I urge you NOT to follow my example.

    Live life. Love life. Cherish freedom, and always stay focused on your own pursuit of happiness. Just remember that lawlessness calls for consequences, and those consequences, no matter how you sugar coat them, are miserable. Lawlessness will never result in happiness, therefore, it is misery. Yes, lawlessness, is misery.


    This post was written by a guest contributor.

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    20 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Wed, 20 Jul 2011 at 12:44

      New blog post: Truth & Wisdom from a Teen Prison Inmate – This guest article is written by Micah Neumann. I often si… http://ow.ly/1dSNGA

    • Michael Olson
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 10:22

      What a great expose on prison life for a bright young man who made some wrong decisions. I am positive he even left out the worst parts of prison life in order to avoid shocking his audience. Hopefully his story will benefit countless others who are in need of some good direction.
      We agree, Mike, thanks.

    • denise krochta
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 02:47

      Truth & Wisdom from a Teen Prison Inmate http://t.co/fNtCMZ3

    • denise krochta
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 02:48

      Something to think about http://fb.me/19b27Sk1t

    • denise krochta
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 02:48

      Food for thought http://fb.me/Wxlvi59w

    • denise krochta
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 02:49

      Truth & Wisdom from a Teen Prison Inmate http://lnkd.in/BDyuna

    • Askthejudge.info
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 04:45

      RT @deniseV8 Truth & Wisdom from a Teen Prison Inmate http://t.co/Cnkk72b

    • Changing Lives
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 06:53

      "I urge you NOT to follow my example." http://fb.me/w2m0bhuZ

    • Askthejudge.info
      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 at 09:22

      RT @ChangngLives "I urge you NOT to follow my example." http://t.co/f0MqFS3

    • Askthejudge.info
      Tue, 26 Jul 2011 at 12:48

      Check out this fascinating and eye-opening article about prison life written by a teen inmate. http://fb.me/12NOWIeiA

    • Divorce Lawyers Tulsa
      Fri, 26 Aug 2011 at 09:07

      That guy’s been through a lot…thank you for sharing this story.

    • Jason
      Wed, 28 Sep 2011 at 01:48

      Please don’t demonize lawlessness. Law is what abused you. Law is the embracement of the opinion that we are not all equal… that someone, somewhere has the moral right to abuse people who were most likely abused already because they “need punishment” (read: more abuse) Law is the epitome of evil, and needs to be stopped.

      I’m sorry you were mistreated by the system, and I’m sorry you were most likely mistreated as a child to become a criminal adult. But telling people to “respect authority” is teaching people to respond favorably to the abuser. You think you’re helping, but you aren’t. You don’t respond to terrorism by converting to Islam.
      Dear Jason: This site is about educating teens about their rights and responsibilities under the law. Although we appreciate your willingness to share your perspective, we believe Micah’s story is compelling and his honesty can help teach youth to not follow in his footsteps. There are other countries in this world that offer lawless societies, but we in the U.S. thankfully do not live in one.

    • Jay Swanson
      Sun, 23 Oct 2011 at 09:18

      I have been a volunteer at a prison for about19 years. I see too many young people who have tried their own way for too long. Thank you for this good letter of your life. I don’t know where you are but here the inmates have it quite good. Very clean and well managed.
      In Christ’s love
      Thanks, Jay, for your comment.

    • Keele Smith
      Tue, 08 Nov 2011 at 08:13

      This is a great article written by a fine young man who makes his friends and family proud everyday for the responsibility he has taken for his actions and the desire to never repeat them. He wants to help others and make sure no one else that he knows and loves has to experience this. Wonderful article Micah!!! :)
      Thanks for your comment. We will pass this on to Micah. We all need an occasional kind word & encouragement.

    • denise krochta
      Mon, 19 Dec 2011 at 05:35

      Truth & Wisdom from a Teen Prison Inmate http://t.co/mfwH6kZT

    • julie
      Tue, 07 Feb 2012 at 07:27

      great to share with juveniles who remain in the community, as well as have them share their relations-thanks!
      You’re welcome.

    • Christine Bunch
      Tue, 30 Apr 2013 at 11:39

      I remember him before everything happened. I still see that freshman boy in our computer class with Mr. Friend and I think from M.E.M.S., I’m not sure I was new to Flagstaff then. He was always very nice and friendly. I wonder where Micah is now since he is suppose to get out soon. I wish him the best and thank him for sharing his story.

    • Ninette Sosa
      Tue, 11 Jun 2013 at 01:49

      Well written. And, family first. How did u stay behind!at a vulnerable age?

    • Micah Neumann
      Sat, 23 May 2015 at 08:03

      I have now been out for almost 2 years and, although the struggle of freedom is an omnipresent force of difficulty in my understanding of life, I am ineffably touched by the fact that I was able to reach out to a grateful audience.
      Be good to each other.
      Equality, I’ve come to understand, is the path toward peace and paradise.
      It is, after all, the “golden rule”.
      Anyways I love yall Mutha@#%$#. :)
      (AsktheJudge edits for language.)
      Dear Micah: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We wish you all the best with your future endeavors and finding as much equality in every day life.

    • Micah Neumann
      Sat, 23 May 2015 at 08:07

      Oh yes, Jason, I almost forgot. I don’t ever enjoy conversation with ignorant close minded animals. Read my story, let it set in, and punch yourself.

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