Interview with Michael Smith

Was the system frustrating for you? What did you see happen to people who came into the system?


The system was especially frustrating for me. There was, there was no, there was no system of segregation and by segregation I mean there were people there that were, that had mental problems that should have been addressed in a different manner than a maximum security state prison could provide. There were, ah, there were people, ah, that were, ah, long, had been criminals for, for a long time, long-term criminals. And, ah, for all practical purposes were, ah, probably not able to be rehabilitated. And at the same time you had inmates that were guilty of a first offense. At that point in time smoking marijuana was against the law. I had an 18 year-old kid that was doing time next to somebody that was in for doing murder for throwing a baby off a bridge or, or some, some capital crime. And, I don't think that, I don't think that it was a good idea to throw everybody into one melting pot like that. Ah.