Prison Stories For Kids

May 16, 2004
Share

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

If your preteen is forced to watch Channel One News at school, then he or she is subjected to many depressing and disturbing stories and images.

Channel One is infamous for showing schoolchildren age-inappropriate content. They have shown a drug addict preparing to “shoot up.” For some reason known only to Channel One producers, they showed students the car in which actor Robert Blake allegedly gunned down his wife. They ran numerous stories about the Washington sniper shootings that must have scared thousands of schoolchildren whose parents were trying to protect them from that horrific story.

Channel One executives OKed the gruesome pictures of victims of the Bali terrorist attack. 6th graders saw the same images as high school seniors. (It is always that way.) Channel One made a music video out of horrific video clips of the September 11 attacks. (Parents ought to thank their lucky stars that their children did not attend schools that had a contract with Channel One News during the 9/11 coverage.) When terrorists slaughtered guests at a Israeli Bat Mitzvah, Channel One News felt compelled to show a clip of the panicked guests as they became aware of the gunfire. We could go on.

Recently Channel One News ran a three-part prison story for school kids. Why have prison stories for 11-year-old children? Obligation has seen this type story over and over again on Channel One News since we started covering the TV show back in 1996. Channel One executives evidently firmly believe that a good portion of their young audience are in danger of becoming criminals. These executives believe they will scare these potential “thugs” into being good. There may be another explanation for these feature stories from jail cells, but we can’t think of one.

Here are the scripts from THREE DAYS of prison stories. Think of the school time lost over these three days.

Getting Out (of prison) Part I– May 5, 2004 script
_______________________________________

[HELLOS]
[AIRDATE=5/05/04]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=LAURA & ERROL]
LAURA LING: WHAT IS IT LIKE HERE IN PRISON?INMATE: IT AIN’T NOTHING NICE HERE. MY FIRST TERM, I SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE GET STABBED IN PRISON, IT AIN’T EVEN COOL HERE, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?LAURA: FROM BEHIND BARS TO LIFE IN THE FREE WORLD — TODAY WE’LL BEGIN A THREE-PART SERIES ON GETTING OUT. HEY, EVERYONE, I’M LAURA LING.

ERROL: AND I’M ERROL BARNETT. IT’S CINCO DE MAYO … WEDNESDAY, MAY 5TH.LAURA: AND THIS IS CHANNEL ONE NEWS.

Later in the show:

[BE BACK]
[AIRDATE=5/05/04]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: AND COMING UP NEXT — I GO FACE TO FACE WITH SOME INMATES WHO ARE ON THE VERGE OF GETTING BACK THEIR FREEDOM.

[INTRO PAROLE]
[AIRDATE=5/05/04]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: THE UNITED STATES HAS THE LARGEST POPULATION OF INMATES IN THE WORLD, WITH OVER TWO MILLION PEOPLE BEHIND BARS. BUT, MOST PEOPLE WHO END UP GOING TO PRISON WILL EVENTUALLY GET OUT. IN FACT, EACH YEAR, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PRISONERS ARE RELEASED BACK INTO SOCIETY. WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE FORMER CRIMINALS AND HOW DO THEY READJUST TO LIFE AFTER PRISON? OVER THE NEXT THREE DAYS, WE’LL TAKE A LOOK.

[PAROLE-1]
[AIRDATE=5/5/04]
[PRO=LING/KOSS]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: CALIFORNIA STATE PRISON SOLANO IS A HIGH SECURITY FACILITY WHERE OVER 5000 INMATES ARE LOCKED UP

.LT. MARY NEADE – CA STATE PRISON, SOLANO: THIS IS LEVEL THREE INMATE POPULATION. WE’RE GOING TO BE GOING INTO A CELL BLOCK, APPROXIMATELY ABOUT 197 INMATES POPULATION IN THAT HOUSING UNIT.

LAURA: AS SOON AS YOU STEP INSIDE A PRISON CELL BLOCK, YOU REALIZE THAT THIS SMALL WORLD IS THE INMATES’ ENTIRE UNIVERSE.  SO THIS IS WHERE YOU LIVE.

INMATE: YEAH.

LAURA: HOW MANY HOURS IN A DAY DO YOU SPEND IN HERE?

INMATE: I DON’T KNOW, I’M NOT SURE. ON AVERAGE, PROBABLY ABOUT 12, 15 HOURS.

LAURA: EACH CELL IS OCCUPIED BY TWO INMATES. WHAT DO YOU DO IN HERE?

INMATE: WATCH T-V, READ OR WHATEVER, WRITE LETTERS.

LAURA: BUT DESPITE HOW HARSH PRISON IS, A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF INMATES WHO GET OUT HAVE A HARD TIME STAYING AWAY. SGT. WILLIE PARKER – CA STATE PRISON,

SOLANO: A LOT OF THE GUYS THAT BECOME INSTITUTIONALIZED BECAUSE THEY ARE USED TO THIS, THEY, THIS IS ALL THEY DO, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY KNOW. SO …

LAURA: SO, YOU SEE A LOT OF THE SAME GUYS COMING BACK.

SGT. PARKER: I SEE A HIGH RETURN, A HIGH RETURN, BECAUSE THEY GET OUT AND THEY THINK IT’S EASY OUT THERE, AND IT’S NOT.

LAURA: THEN I WENT OUT ONTO THE YARD, WHERE PRISONERS ARE ALLOWED TO EXERCISE. WHAT IS IT LIKE HERE IN PRISON?INMATE: IT AIN’T NOTHING NICE HERE. MY FIRST TERM, I SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE GET STABBED IN PRISON, IT AIN’T EVEN COOL HERE, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

LAURA: AND IT’S THIS VIOLENT WORLD THAT MANY INMATES CARRY WITH THEM WHEN THEY’RE RELEASED.  NOW, YOU’LL BE GETTING OUT OF PRISON IN A MONTH. HAS PRISON CHANGED YOU? DO YOU FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW, IN A WAY, YOU’RE TOUGHER THAN THE WAY YOU CAME IN? AND HOW WILL THAT AFFECT YOU WHEN YOU’RE OUTSIDE?

INMATE: NATURALLY, ANYBODY THAT COMES INTO PRISON IS GOING TO LEAVE A DIFFERENT PERSON. EVERYBODY’S IN HERE FOR A CRIME, WHETHER IT BE MURDER, ASSAULT, CARJACKING, WHATEVER, AND YOU GO OUT TO SOCIETY AND YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE AND THEY’RE NOT THE SAME. THEY DON’T HAVE THE SAME VIEWS AS YOU DO. THEY’RE NOT AS HARD AS YOU ARE, AND IT TAKES A MINUTE TO GET READJUSTED TO SOCIETY WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THAT HARD PERSON YOU WERE IN PRISON ANYMORE.

LAURA: TO HELP INMATES MAKE THAT ADJUSTMENT, THIS CLASS TEACHES THEM HOW TO TRANSITION TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD.

TEACHER: IT’S A FALLACY THAT THERE ARE NO JOBS FOR PAROLEES. YOU’VE GOT TO GO OUT THERE AND YOU’VE GOT TO WORK AND LOOK FOR THESE OPPORTUNITIES. BUT YOU HAVE TO GO OUT THERE AND CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT YOUR FUTURE IS NOT GOING TO BE YOUR HISTORY, THAT HISTORY IS WHAT HAS BEEN, AND THE FUTURE IS WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO.

LAURA: THE PROGRAM IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE MOST OF THESE GUYS HAVE ALREADY FAILED ON THE OUTSIDE, SEVERAL TIMES.  WITH A SHOW OF HANDS, HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN IN MORE THAN ONE TIME? ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX.  HOW ‘BOUT MORE THAN TWO TIMES? ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE. MORE THAN THREE TIMES? ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE. FOUR TIMES? FIVE TIMES?

INMATE: I’LL JUST KEEP IT UP.

LAURA: HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN IN?

INMATE: I’VE PROBABLY – I’M YOUNG, BUT PROBABLY AT LEAST TEN TIMES.

LAURA: THEN I WENT TO CALIFORNIA STATE PRISON LOS ANGELES COUNTY, A MAXIMUM SECURITY FACILITY, TO WITNESS A PROCESS THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF INMATES IN AMERICA GO THROUGH EACH YEAR … GETTING OUT OF PRISON.  HERE, I MET 24-YEAR-OLD TIM WHO SAID HE’S SPENT SEVEN OF THE LAST TEN YEARS BEHIND BARS FOR VIOLENT CRIMES. HE WAS MOMENTS AWAY FROM BEING RELEASED.  WHAT’S GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD?

TIM: I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE IT. EVERYTHING, EXCITEMENT, FEAR, EVERYTHING

LAURA: WHAT’S THE BIGGEST FEAR THAT YOU HAVE?

TIM: GETTING ARRESTED AGAIN. I’M SO TIRED. I WAS TELLING MY FRIEND LAST NIGHT, I’M SO TIRED OF DOING TIME. I’VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE I WAS 14 YEARS OLD AND I’M JUST TIRED OF IT. YOU KNOW, I’M AFRAID OF FAILURE, AGAIN

LAURA: DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MIGHT BE TEMPTED BACK INTO YOUR OLD LIFE?

TIM: IT’S NOT SO MUCH THAT I’LL BE TEMPTED BACK TO MY OLD LIFE. IT’S THAT I WORRY ABOUT SOMETHING SPONTANEOUS, YOU KNOW, JUST GETTING ANGRY, AT THE DROP OF A HAT, GETTING INTO A FIGHT. AND IT’S THAT EASY TO COME BACK FOR LIFE

.LAURA: AFTER SIGNING RELEASE PAPERS, TIM WAS GIVEN 200 DOLLARS, WHAT MOST INMATES RECEIVE WHEN THEY GET OUT OF PRISON TO HELP THEM GET STARTED. THEN HE GOT A RIDE OUTSIDE THE PRISON GATES WHERE HIS FAMILY WAS WAITING FOR HIM. WHAT DO YOU THINK IT TAKES FOR THESE GUYS TO MAKE IT ON THE OUTSIDE AND NOT COME BACK TO PRISON?

LT. KEN LEWIS – CA STATE PRISON, L.A. COUNTY: WILL POWER, SIMPLE WILL POWER. YOU WANT TO HAVE A STRONG ENOUGH WILL TO BE ABLE TO SAY NO TO THOSE THINGS THAT GOT HIM HERE.

[TAG PAROLE]
[AIRDATE=5/05/04]
[PRO=LAURA]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: TOMORROW, WE’LL SEE IF TIM HAS THE WILLPOWER IT TAKES TO STAY OUT OF PRISON. AND WE’LL LOOK AT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES FACED BY EX-CONVICTS IN THE UNITED STATES ONCE THEY GET OUT. AND TO GET THE FACTS ABOUT TEN FAMOUS U.S. PRISONS — FROM ALCATRAZ TO ATTICA — CHECK OUT THE PHOTO GALLERY ON OUR WEBSITE. JUST GO TO CHANNELONE.COM AND CLICK ON “GETTING OUT.”

Getting
Out (of prison) Part 2
– May 6, 2004 script
_______________________________________

[BE BACK]
[AIRDATE=5/06/04]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: AND UP NEXT — FROM REMOTE CONTROLS TO A CLOSET FULL OF CLOTHES … WE’LL SEE HOW AN EX-INMATE IS REACQUAINTING HIMSELF WITH LIFE ON THE OUTSIDE.

[INTRO PAROLE]
[AIRDATE=5/06/04]
[PRO=LAURA]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: YESTERDAY, WE SHOWED YOU WHAT LIFE IS LIKE BEHIND BARS. TODAY, WE’LL SEE HAPPENS ONCE YOU GET OUT OF PRISON AND WHAT IT TAKES TO STAY OUT.

[PAROLE-2]
[AIRDATE=5/6/04]
[PRO=LING/KOSS]
[TALENT=LAURA]

LAURA: EVERY YEAR, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF INMATES ARE RELEASED FROM PRISON. BUT ONCE THEY’RE RELEASED, MANY OF THEM ARE NOT YET ENTIRELY FREE. THEY GO ON WHAT’S KNOWN AS PAROLE, WHICH MEANS THAT THEIR ACTIVITIES ARE STILL MONITORED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.  DEAN CRENSHAW IS A PAROLE OFFICER WHO HAS THE POWER TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT FORMER PRISONERS, OR PAROLEES, GET TO KEEP THEIR FREEDOM. I FOLLOWED HIM AS HE VISITED PAROLEES … TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE. PART OF THE VISITS INCLUDE MANDATORY DRUG TESTING.DEAN CRENSHAW – PAROLE AGENT: READY TO GET YOUR DRUG TEST DONE?

ROY: YEAH. ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT.

DEAN CRENSHAW: FAVORITE PART OF THE VISIT. ULTIMATELY, IT COMES DOWN TO THEM MAKING A CHOICE, A DECISION THAT THEY WANT THEIR LIFE TO CHANGE, AND WHEN THEY DO THAT, THEY’RE ABLE TO SUCCEED.

LAURA: WHEN WE LAST SAW 24-YEAR-OLD TIM, HE WAS GETTING RELEASED FROM PRISON AND GOING ON PAROLE. IT WAS HIS CHANCE TO PROVE HE COULD SUCCEED AND START A NEW LIFE.  AND JUST ONE WEEK OUT OF PRISON, TIM SEEMED TO BE DOING FINE. HE TOOK ME TO SEE ONE OF THE THINGS HE MISSED MOST WHILE HE WAS BEHIND BARS — HIS FAVORITE SPORT, DRAG RACING.  BUT IN REALITY, TIM WAS STILL STRUGGLING … EVEN WITH THE SIMPLEST OF THINGS.  A WEEK AGO YOU WERE IN PRISON AND NOW YOU’RE BACK AT HOME.

TIM: YEP. AND NOW I’M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE THESE.

LAURA: THE REMOTES?

TIM: WHY DO THEY HAVE SO MANY BUTTONS NOW?

LAURA: OUTSIDE THE STRUCTURE OF PRISON, TIM SEEMED LOST.TIM: I’M NOT USED TO HAVING TO DECIDE WHAT I WANT FOR DINNER REALLY. HERE, I GO OUT TO EAT WITH MY FRIENDS, AND I LOOK AT THE MENU AND SAY, ‘MY GOD! HOW CAN YOU DECIDE?!’ HERE, I’LL SHOW YOU MY CLOTHES. SOMETIMES, I’LL SPEND 15 MINUTES DECIDING WHAT I WANT TO WEAR. MY LIFE RIGHT NOW IS DRIVING ME NUTS. I MEAN, I’M HAVING FUN, DON’T GET ME WRONG, I LOVE IT OUT HERE. BUT THERE’S, LIKE, SO MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE EVERY DAY THAT I’M NOT USED TO MAKING.

LAURA: AND THE BIGGEST DECISION FOR TIM IS MAKING SURE HE DOESN’T RETURN TO HIS VIOLENT PAST. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A DANGEROUS PERSON?

TIM: NO, NOT ANYMORE.LAURA: BUT BACK THEN?

TIM: YEAH. YEAH. I DID THINGS WITHOUT EVEN THINKING, YOU KNOW? I FELT LIKE I WAS INVINCIBLE JUST ‘CAUSE I HAD A GUN. I WAS A 15, 16-YEAR-OLD KID WITH A GUN. I THOUGHT I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD. IT’S A STUPID WAY TO THINK.

LAURA: LIKE TIM, JOSE IS ALSO ON PAROLE. HE’S A FORMER GANG MEMBER WHO WAS IMPRISONED FOR TRANSPORTING ILLEGAL DRUGS BETWEEN MEXICO AND THE U.S. HIS NEW JOB IS REMOVING GRAFFITI. HOW MUCH WERE YOU MAKING TRANSPORTING DRUGS?JOSE: THOUSANDS.

LAURA: THOUSANDS A …

JOSE: … A DAY.

LAURA: THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A DAY. HOW MUCH ARE YOU MAKING NOW PAINTING OVER GRAFFITI?JOSE: NOW, I’M MAKING LIKE THIRTEEN HUNDRED A MONTH. PEOPLE LIKE NICE THINGS, LUXURY, YOU KNOW, FANCY THINGS. I STILL LIKE THAT, YOU KNOW, BELIEVE ME, BUT I GOT TO EARN IT NOW. I GOT TO WORK HARD FOR IT.

LAURA: YOU’VE ONLY BEEN OUT OF THE SYSTEM FOR A WEEK. HOW CAN I BELIEVE YOU NOW, SHOULD I BELIEVE YOU NOW?JOSE: NO, BELIEVE ME, A WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH.

LAURA: HOW OFTEN DO YOU SEE PEOPLE UNDER YOUR CASE LOAD GO BACK TO PRISON AND NOT MAKE IT ON THE OUTSIDE?DEAN CRENSHAW: A BIG MAJORITY OF THE PAROLEES DO NOT MAKE IT. BUT IT COMES DOWN TO A DECISION. IF THEY MAKE A DECISION THAT THEY REALLY WANT TO CHANGE, I’VE SEEN ALMOST ANYBODY CHANGE NO MATTER HOW FAR DOWN THAT PATH THEY’VE GONE.

LAURA: I CAUGHT UP WITH JOSE FIVE MONTHS AFTER OUR LAST VISIT. HE HAD MOVED TO A TOWN ABOUT 30 MILES OUTSIDE OF LOS ANGELES.  THIS IS YOUR NEW NEIGHBORHOOD. WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE?

JOSE: WHY? BECAUSE, UM, DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT, IT’S A NEW TOWN. WHEN I WAS BACK IN L.A., I KNEW EVERYBODY, WHERE TO LOOK FOR DRUGS, WHERE TO GET MY CONNECTION, WHERE TO SELL DRUGS AT. RIGHT HERE, I JUST WANT TO FORGET ALL THAT.

LAURA: BUT SIX MONTHS AFTER GETTING OUT OF PRISON, TIM WAS STILL STRUGGLING. HE TOLD ME THAT HE RECENTLY MANAGED TO RESTRAIN HIMSELF FROM BEATING SOMEONE UP, A VIOLATION THAT COULD HAVE SENT HIM BACK TO PRISON. SO YOU’RE DEALING WITH YOUR TEMPER RIGHT NOW?

TIM: YEAH. I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING STUPID, YOU KNOW, BUT I DO GET ANGRY.

LAURA: DO YOU GET NERVOUS SOMETIMES THAT YOU MIGHT DO SOMETHING STUPID AND ACT OUT?

TIM: YEAH.

LAURA: AND TIM’S BIGGEST OBSTACLE, LIKE MANY PAROLEES, WAS GETTING A JOB.TIM: PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE HOW EXPENSIVE IT IS TO SURVIVE WITHOUT A JOB. YOU THINK ABOUT GAS AND FOOD AND RENT AND CAR PAYMENTS AND INSURANCE AND PHONE BILLS AND CELL PHONE BILLS AND …

LAURA: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, TIM, IF YOU DON’T GET A JOB?

TIM:
I DON’T KNOW.

[TAG PAROLE]
[AIRDATE=5/06/04]
[PRO=LAURA]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: WELL, THERE’S GOOD NEWS FOR TIM. HE FINALLY FOUND A JOB DOING SOMETHING THAT HE REALLY LIKES, WHICH IS WORKING ON CARS. BUT TOMORROW, WE’LL MEET ANOTHER PAROLEE, ANTHONY, WHO’S HAD A DIFFICULT TIME STAYING AWAY FROM TROUBLE.

 

Getting
Out (of prison) Part 3
– May 7, 2004 script
_______________________________________

[AIRDATE=5/7/04]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=JANET]
JANET: COMING UP NEXT — A LOOK AT THE STRUGGLES FACING EX-INMATES WHO ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE.

[INTRO PAROLE]
[AIRDATE=5/06/04]
[PRO=LAURA]
[TALENT=JANET]
JANET: BEING SENT TO PRISON, GETTING OUT AND GOING BACK AGAIN … THIS REVOLVING DOOR IS A REALITY FOR MANY PAROLEES IN AMERICA. LAURA LING JOINS US NOW WITH MORE. HEY, LAURA.

LAURA: HI, JANET. PAROLEES STRUGGLE WITH EVERYTHING FROM FINDING A DECENT JOB, TO LIVING IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT THAT GOT THEM INTO TROUBLE. TODAY, THE FINAL PART OF OUR SERIES, AND ONE 21-YEAR-OLD’S BATTLE TO MAKE IT.

[PAROLE-3]
[AIRDATE=5/7/04]
[PRO=LING/KOSS]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: THESE GUYS HERE ARE ALL GETTING OUT OF PRISON TODAY. HI GUYS, HOW ARE YOU? HOW YOU FEELING ABOUT GETTING OUT TODAY?

INMATE: I’M FEELING ALL RIGHT. BLESSED TO GET BACK HOME TO MY FAMILY AND MY KIDS, YOU KNOW.

LAURA: HARDLY ANYONE ENJOYS BEING IN PRISON. BUT THAT ISN’T ENOUGH TO KEEP MOST PAROLEES FROM GOING BACK. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN IN PRISON, IF YOU DON’T MIND ME ASKING?

BRENT: THIS IS MY THIRD TIME.

LAURA: THIRD TIME?

BRENT: YEAH.

LAURA: TO REDUCE THIS HIGH RATE OF RETURN, NEW PROGRAMS ARE BEING INTRODUCED …

SPEAKER: YOU GUYS GOT TO EXAMINE YOURSELF FROM WITHIN.

LAURA: … SUCH AS THIS MANDATORY MEETING IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA.

SPEAKER: YOU GOT TO DO IT FOR YOU. I, YOU KNOW, YOU GOT TO DO IT FOR YOU.

LAURA: HERE, LAW ENFORCEMENT KEEPS A CLOSE WATCH ON PAROLEES TO MAKE SURE THEY STAY ON TRACK AND OUT OF PRISON.  TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD ANTHONY WAS AT THE MEETING. HE’D BEEN OUT OF PRISON FOR JUST FOUR DAYS.  HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW, HERE?

ANTHONY: ACTUALLY, REALLY, IT’S KIND OF SCARY BEING AROUND A BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE, BUT, YOU KNOW, THAT’S SOMETHING YOU ADJUST TO OVER TIME OUT HERE ON THE STREETS.

MAN: GOOD LUCK, HUH?

ANTHONY: THANKS. LAURA: THE NEXT DAY, I WENT FOR A WALK WITH HIM IN HIS NEIGHBORHOOD IN SACRAMENTO ANTHONY: IT’S KIND OF WEIRD, IT’S KIND OF SCARY, LIKE I SAID BEFORE, BECAUSE IT’S SO BIG, YOU KNOW. IT’S LIKE IT’S NOT A CLOSED ENVIRONMENT. YOU CAN LOOK ALL THE WAY DOWN THIS STREET AND SEE A CHURCH AT THAT END. YOU CAN LOOK ALL THE WAY DOWN AND SEE A BUSINESS PLACE AT THIS END.  LISTEN TO THE BIRDS CHIRP EARLY IN THE MORNING, JUST THE BIRDS CHIRPING, SMELL THE TREES AND THE GRASS, AND JUST ENJOY LIFE IN THE FREE WORLD.

LAURA: BUT ANTHONY’S LIFE IN THE FREE WORLD STILL HAD ITS CHALLENGES. THIS IS ANTHONY, WHO WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING AROUND FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS IN SACRAMENTO. BUT NOW WE’RE BACK HERE IN OUR OFFICE IN L.A., SO WE’RE GOING TO CALL HIM AND SEE HOW HE’S DOING.

ANTHONY: HELLO?

LAURA: HI, MAY I SPEAK TO ANTHONY, PLEASE?

ANTHONY: YES, THIS IS ANTHONY.

LAURA: HEY, ANTHONY. IT’S LAURA AND MITCH.

ANTHONY: HEY, HOW’RE YOU DOING?

LAURA: GOOD, HOW ARE YOU?

ANTHONY: I’M PRETTY GOOD. LAST NIGHT, I GOT ENCOUNTERED BY, WITH, BY THE POLICE FOR THE FIRST TIME.

LAURA: YESTERDAY, YOU GOT ENCOUNTERED BY THE POLICE FOR THE FIRST TIME? WHAT HAPPENED?

ANTHONY: OH, NOTHING. I WAS DOWN AT THE RIVER AT NIGHT. POLICE OFFICERS, THEY JUST CAME DOWN THERE, THEY ASKED ME IF I WAS ON PAROLE OR PROBATION. I TOLD HIM I WAS ON PAROLE.

LAURA: SO WHAT WAS THAT LIKE BEING CONFRONTED BY THE POLICE?

ANTHONY: REALLY NERVE-WRACKING. REALLY NERVE-WRACKING.

LAURA: HELLO?  I MET UP WITH ANTHONY ONE MONTH LATER. ANTHONY? HEY!MITCH: HOW ARE YOU?

LAURA: HOW ARE YOU? NICE TO SEE YOU!

ANTHONY: GOOD TO SEE YOU, TOO. HOW YOU GUYS DOING?LAURA: I LEARNED THAT HE HAD BEEN STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK, BUT THAT HE’D FINALLY GOTTEN A PART-TIME JOB AT A CLOTHING STORE. ANTHONY: THIS SUIT RIGHT HERE, IT’LL GO RETAIL FOR LIKE 399, HE’LL SELL IT FOR 200 DOLLARS. WHAT IT IS, IT’S TWO SUITS IN ONE. IT’S A LONG COAT SUIT AND YOU GOT THE BLAZER UNDERNEATH.

LAURA: AND WITH HIS JOB, ANTHONY GAINED CONFIDENCE. IT’S BEEN A LITTLE OVER TWO MONTHS SINCE WE LAST SAW YOU, AND PEOPLE SAY THAT THREE MONTHS, THAT’S THE CRUCIAL TIME, THAT’S THE PERIOD WHEN MOST PEOPLE GO BACK TO PRISON. SO, HOW ARE YOU FEELING RIGHT NOW? YOU STILL HAVE ONE MONTH TO GET THROUGH THAT CRUCIAL PERIOD.

ANTHONY: NO SWEAT, NO SWEAT. THAT AIN’T NO PROBLEM.

LAURA: BUT SOON AFTER, IT SEEMED AS IF ANTHONY WAS BACK IN TROUBLE. THIS IS A MESSAGE THAT I JUST RECEIVED FROM AGENT DEWALD, WHO IS ANTHONY’S PAROLE AGENT IN SACRAMENTO.

MESSAGE: HEY, LAURA THIS IS DEWALD. YOUR LITTLE BUDDY WAS SEEN WITH APPROXIMATELY FOUR POUNDS OF METHAMPHETAMINE THAT HE STASHED IN A DUMPSTER.

LAURA: THE NEXT DAY, ANTHONY REPORTED TO HIS PAROLE AGENT, DENYING HE’D DONE ANYTHING WRONG.

KEN DEWALD – PAROLE OFFICER: WHAT AMOUNT OF TIME DO YOU THINK FOUR POUNDS OF METHAMPHETAMINE WOULD GET YOU IN STATE PRISON THESE DAYS?ANTHONY: I’M PRETTY SURE I WOULD HAVE DONE A LOT OF TIME, THUSLY, THE REASON WHY I’M NOT INTO DOING THAT NOW.

LAURA: CHARGES AGAINST ANTHONY WERE DROPPED BECAUSE A WITNESS DID NOT IDENTIFY HIM IN A LINE-UP OF SUSPECTS. BUT ANTHONY’S PAROLE AGENT DIDN’T LET HIM FORGET THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE LAW.

OFFICER DEWALD: YOU’RE WILLING TO RISK YOUR FREEDOM AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU’VE DONE FOR ME, AND YOU’RE GOING TO RISK THAT FOR 10-THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF DOPE.ANTHONY: NO, NEVER THAT.

OFFICER DEWALD: NOT TO MENTION THE HASSLE THAT COMES WITH SELLING 10-THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF DOPE.ANTHONY: EXACTLY, NO, I WOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT.OFFICER DEWALD: THE BOTTOM LINE IS, YOU NEED TO JUST START FOCUSING ON DOING THE RIGHT THING.

LAURA: DURING THE COURSE OF WORKING ON THIS STORY, WE’VE MET SO MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE ON PAROLE WHO SAY, ‘I’M NOT GOING BACK TO PRISON, I’M GOING TO MAKE IT ON THE OUTSIDE.’ UNFORTUNATELY, THAT ISN’T THE CASE FOR A LOT OF INDIVIDUALS.  RIGHT HERE, WE’RE WALKING INTO WHAT’S KNOWN AS THE HOLDING TANK AT THE CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR MEN, WHERE THERE ARE ABOUT 40 PEOPLE WHO ARE WAITING TO BE PROCESSED BACK INTO PRISON FOR VIOLATING THEIR PAROLE.

OFFICER: A, A, YOU BETTER HURRY UP, A …

LAURA: WHEN YOU GOT OUT OF PRISON FOR THE FIRST TIME, DID YOU THINK YOU’D BE COMING BACK?INMATE: NAH, I DIDN’T THINK I WAS COMING BACK. I WAS, NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THEY’RE COMING BACK. YOU KNOW, IT’S JUST THE CHOICES THAT WE MAKE WHEN WE GET OUT.

LAURA: BUT, ANTHONY, DESPITE HIS RUN-IN WITH THE LAW, HASN’T BEEN SENT BACK. AND HE’S STILL TRYING HARD TO MAKE IT ON THE OUTSIDE.

ANTHONY: I PRAY TO THE LORD EVERY NIGHT – JUST GIVE ME ONE MORE CHANCE TO SUCCEED IN SOCIETY, SUCCEED IN THE CIVILIZED WORLD, AND I WON’T MESS UP AGAIN.

[TAG PAROLE]
[AIRDATE=5/07/04]
[PRO=LAURA]
[TALENT=LAURA]
LAURA: AND ALTHOUGH ANTHONY SEEMS TO BE DOING OKAY NOW, STAYING OUT IS AN EVERYDAY STRUGGLE FOR HIM.

JANET: THAT WAS A GREAT SERIES. HOW LONG DID YOU ACTUALLY FOLLOW THESE GUYS?

LAURA: WELL, WE FOLLOWED THEM AROUND FOR A LITTLE OVER A YEAR, AND DURING THAT TIME, WE REALLY GOT A SENSE FOR HOW MUCH THESE GUYS WANT TO STAY OUT OF PRISON, YET AT THE SAME TIME, HOW DIFFICULT THAT IS. AND THAT ALSO GOES FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PAROLEES IN AMERICA.

JANET: WELL, THANKS, LAURA.

DERRICK: AND, COMING UP NEXT — IT’S FRIDAY, SO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS … TODAY’S PLAY OF THE WEEK. STAY RIGHT THERE.

JANET: A BAD BEGINNING DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN A BAD ENDING AS YOU’LL SEE IN TODAY’S PLAY OF THE WEEK. WATCH JARAN HEATON. THE GUN GOES OFF AND HE LOSES HIS FOOTING, BUT HE DOESN’T LET THAT SLOW HIM DOWN. LET’S SPEED THIS UP. HE’S STARTS GAINING MOMENTUM IN THIS 200 YARD DASH AND ENDS UP CROSSING THE FINISH LINE WITH A TIME OF 27.2 SECONDS.  CONGRATULATIONS JARAN AND THE MAPLE LEAFS FOR TAKING THE MEET. THEY WERE UNDEFEATED LAST YEAR AND THE WINNING STREAK CONTINUES. A GATORADE COOLER AND CASE OF POWDER MIX IS ON ITS WAY! NOW SEND IN YOUR PLAYS TO CHANNEL ONE NEWS; P.O. BOX 74911; LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; 90004.

DERRICK: AND DON’T FORGET — THIS SUNDAY IS MOTHER’S DAY. CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE TO READ WHAT SOME TEENS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEIR GREAT MOMS, AND THEN POST A TRIBUTE TO YOUR MOM ON OUR MESSAGE BOARDS. JUST GO TO CHANNELONE.COM AND CLICK ON “MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE.” THAT’S A NICE IDEA THERE, DON’T YOU THINK?

JANET: MM-HMM. WHAT ARE YOU GETTING YOUR MOM?

DERRICK: I DON’T KNOW, I’LL FIGURE IT OUT IN THE NEXT COUPLE DAYS. WHIP UP SOME COOKIES AND MAIL THEM TO HER OR SOMETHING

JANET: THERE YOU GO. AND A LOT OF LOVE.

Tags: , , , ,