After having a successful career, a happy life, and opportunity galore, my fear is that I’ll never be able to experience these feelings again. I was given a 15-year term of imprisonment for possessing and receiving child pornography. The pornography that I had was generated from long, disgusting hours of surfing the internet. I never cheated or searched out underage victims in real life.
My crime is heinous and sad. I deserve to be in prison. I deserve to be required to successfully complete therapy specially designed for sex offenders. I deserve to be monitored after my release for a period of time that reflects my likelihood to re-offend. I deserve to have some limited access to young, impressionable adults. I deserve so much.
I deserve to be given a chance to begin a career of my choice, after serving my sentence. I deserve to come out of prison without insurmountable debt. I deserve to be recognized for my paid debt to society and not punished harshly for the possibility of re-offending in the future. I deserve the access to trained, available professionals that can help me with my victimization as a child sex abuse victim. I deserve less time in prison than someone that has committed a hands-on sexual offense. I deserve so much.
I deserve a safe, accepting place in which to serve my sentence. I deserve safety from others that seek retribution, this includes BOP officers and staff. I deserve equal access to programming and re-education classes. I deserve a quality of life that offers fairness. I deserve to be judged on my merits and not the crime, time I served. I deserve to be forgiven for my transgressions. I deserve to forgive myself for my mistakes. I deserve so much.
I deserve to seek support for my sex addiction. I deserve to be given a chance to love and be loved. I deserve to be held accountable by friends and family. I deserve the opportunity to help others avoid the painful mistakes I’ve made. I deserve a chance to speak to policy-makers about their lasting impact on criminal justice reform. I deserve a chance to make up for the lost time with my loved ones.
I deserve a career with opportunity and growth, a life free of judgement, and full of respect. We deserve so much. — Michael R.