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United States of America : staying awake while doing time

Published on 11 April 2018.

Robert Lee Allen is imprisoned in the state of Michigan. He's currently serving his fifth year of a 17 years-sentence. He wrote a text entitled “Sleepwalking” which we edited in a matter of length and clarity. Here is his testimonial


IN PRISON you either live in the past or in the future.
Anywhere but in the present. It is either that, or you have to accept this place as home. We watch TV, we read books, we tell stories. Everything to escape. We occupy our minds with hopes of a life that has yet to begin. Or with the thoughts of a life, long since past. We believe that life is happening anywhere but here. As if it has been frozen behind these walls, only to resume when we finally walk out of these doors.
We deserve the luxury of this perspective. We have earned the right to entertain these thoughts. It is much more comforting, so much 'easier'. And to think any other way would be absurd... Right?

A place where you're forced to work for pennies a day. That punishes you for refusing to do the work of maintaining the prison that holds you captive

Is the point of life to make it through unscathed, having learned nothing meaningful?

It’s easy to fall back asleep in a place like this. To start living in an imagined future while life passes by you.

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