As a 91-year-old, former inmate, FDOC Volunteer Chaplain and super voter, The Reverend Willie G. Dixon, Founder and CEO of the COACH Foundation, Inc., said, I listened with the third ear to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address and the response by Governor Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.
Alexander Nazaryan of the Yazoo News stated he was energetic and pugnacious. Biden makes a case to the nation with five takeaways: 1. He brought the fight to the Republicans, 2. The economic recovery is real, 3.Putting American workers first, 4. Popping the China balloon, 5. The end of civility?
Governor Sanders in her GOP response to Biden, Governor Sanders stated, they know it and you know and it's time for a change. She alleged, a sharp contrast between the two parties, especially with respect to what she called the "left wing party culture war". " The dividing line in America is no longer between the right or left, it's between normal or crazy", in her rebuttal to President Biden's message to the world.
It was commendable to mention the comeback of the economy, buy goods made in America, Social Security, cost reduction of medicine, good policing, importance of an education, increase in salary for teachers and so on. However, I failed to hear in President Biden's message or Governor Sander's response, mass incarceration, the judicial system, penal system, correctional officers, inmates, their families and loved ones.
It cost the taxpayers billions of dollars annually to maintain over 2 million people in our American jails and prisons. Neither mentioned the pain and suffering placed on taxpayers, families, correctional officers, and inmates. Moreover, when an inmate is incarcerated the United States Census counts an inmate as a citizen. However, once an inmate is released from prison and goes home he or she is labeled an ex-con, ex-felon or falsely labeled as a Returning Citizen, until their rights are restored .
• Family members spend over 2 billion dollars each year in telephone calls,
video visits, overpriced canteen goods, I Care packages, prison program by a
limited number of selected private owned business that provide good and
services to inmates and prison.
• The salary of correctional officers is between $38,000 to$ 46,000.
• I often say, " correctional officers are serving time like an inmate 8-12 hours
• Due to contraband transported in our prison by a limited number of officers
their bags must be cleared and searched.
• Correctional officers bring their problems from home into the institution
and carry the stress back home to their families, which is described as "dual
• Is this the reason there is a high turnover of correctional officers and a void
in hiring new officers?
• Sad, to say some correctional officers have considered suicide!
With this being factual, all correctional officer salaries must be increased, properly trained, kept in a good mental, physical shape, find ways to detox their mind and lead a stress free life with their family and families.
Inmates must respect all correctional officers, rules and DOC regulations and know correctional officers are only doing their job to provide a safe, decent environment as their sentence is served and prepare to return to their community as a law-abiding citizen, once their rights are restored.
Finally, inmates must realize the judicial nor penal system didn't give them an
invitation to be charged with a crime or to break and enter into their system.
This is another view of my take away from President Biden's 2nd State of Union
message and Governor Sanders response.
All comments and suggestions are welcome and can be sent to: Reverend Willie
G. Dixon- P.O. Box 31074 -Tampa, Fl 33680 or email@example.com