This Blog is comprised of the works of youth ranging in age from 17-22 who are serving 3-15 year sentences at Pollsmoor Prison located just outside of Cape Town, South Africa.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Crime Through My Eyes

I asked my youth to write about a crime they had committed through the eyes of the victim. This entry I saw as both tragic and hopeful concerning the youth within their neighborhoods. The man shot in this entry is the neighbor of Shannon "Smokey" Scotts.

Written By: Shannon "Smokey" Scotts

"Why don't this boy find something better to do? Everyday he's sitting and smoking weed and fooling around with people. Like this day he was trying to fool me around. I mean, I lost my daughter just a few months ago, so it was just me and my dog, which I trained. I loved him cause it was all I had left. Anyways, this boy like picked a fight with me and while I was trying to convince him that it was a misunderstanding, he shot my dog! I got so pissed at the boy that I told him to shoot me! I felt that nothing is going to help bring my dog back to life, so why do I have to worry about this boy? I mean I told him that he should shoot me, but was that what I really wanted? I don't think so, but he shot me. I thought that I was going to die.

As time passed I heard that the boy was caught and was sent to a prison. After a year I caught up with him and I visited him, and I asked him what he earned for the crime he committed. The boy told me that he was sorry, but I forgave him ages ago before I even visited him.

Today I have the Lord in my life and I hope that Shannon would open his eyes, and I hope that he doesn't get hurt where he is. Everyday I pray for this young boy to change his life, and I hope that when he comes out that he would live a better life, and that he would live up to his dreams! Cheers, Sean"

Thursday, July 21, 2005

To the Youth of South Afrika

Posted From Hose Luciano Baard:

To The Youth of South Afrika:

At first I want to great you in the name of our Heavenly Father, who has granted me this golden opportunity to pick up my pen and inform you on my situation here. I find myself in a stoney place of coldness called Pollsmoor Prison.

This is a place of heartless people where everyone wears a mask, and no one is a true friend. The people around you stare with the thought of how to beat you around the bushin order to survive. Think twice for regret always comes too late. Grab hold of your freedom, because it's there where your future lies.

signed,
Hose Baard

Young Poets

One of the major obsticles in teaching in prison is that the youth are constantly exposed to programs that basically present the same information over and over. One of the major goals of the Literacy Program is to be original. The program has been called unconventional by the social workers. I think that this is their way of saying I am a fool, but the youth do change. The major obsticle is breaking down their natural responses to questions. We are constantly trying to pull the real feelings, thoughts and dreams from the youth. We want to empower this part of them, their authentic part. Here are their words.

"Stand Up"
walk, talk, laugh, scream, cry, jokes.
everyday the same
eat, drink, sleep.
fuck, money, cars, jewels
what more do we want?
drugs, clothes, walking the street.
going to miami, dressed like 50cent
who am I?
girls, night clubs, cake, EX, brandy, whiskey.
poker, cards, gamble
hit the jackpot
hear the music
the sound of smelling money
get drunk, get fucked
hear the ambulance
tick tock, tick tock
everything is silence
everyone is watching
the darkenss is crying, praying
blood pumping pain
hear the sound
smell the dead
familes crying, friends dying ---BY: Taswell Fortune

"The Classroom"
I hear them coming
shifting tables and chairs.
waiting for someone to say,
silence.
sitting, waiting to be told what to do.
"teacher may i be excused from class?
my butt is sore
i don't know how i can hold it in anymore."
excuse me for not writing my homework,
my dog at my paper
what can i say, but
please help me.

the bell
ding dong, ding dong.
can't wait to see what mom put in lunch.
i have cheese,
i have peanut better
i have jam
its always fun playing soccer, rugby
hide and seek.
look there, the tuck shop
who has money?
buy me chips, buy me sweets.
I'll have this, I'll have that.
ding dong, ding dong.

can't wait to go home
listen class
tomorrow this must be done
look at the blackboard.
write this, take notes, and listen carefully
ding dong, ding dong.

children pack their bags
i'm going home
going to play with my dog
i'm going,
where are you going?
let's walk together.
we're both going home brother.

last thing children
don't forget to do your homework.--------BY: Eugene Willis